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Larry Page's Voice Update - Scott Adams' Blog

Larry Page’s Voice Update

A number of you forwarded links to a story in which Larry Page describes for the first time his voice problems.

In prior posts I had guessed his voice problem was caused by spasmodic dysphonia, a condition I once had. Evidently I was wrong. (For the first time.) But what Page does have is similar in a few ways.

With spasmadic dysphonia, the vocal chords clench shut involuntarily. Page seems to have the opposite, in that his vocal cords are partly paralyzed. There is a version of spasmodic dysphonia in which the vocal cords open involuntarily, and that might sound very similar to how his voice sounds – breathy and weak. What makes Page’s situation different, and also indicates to me that the problem isn’t spasmodic dysphonia, is that his two vocal cords went bad in different years. I’ve never heard of that.

Interstingly, my voice problem was fixed by a surgery that clipped my existing nerve connection from brain to vocal cords and spliced in a new route. Page’s problem also seems to involve nerve damage from brain to vocal cords. So his voice problem and my ex-problem are entirely different, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the solution was similar: Nerve rewiring by surgery.

Interestingly, Page’s voice problem was triggered the same way spasmodic dysphonia gets triggered, by a common cold or respiratory illness that causes laryngitis and simply never improves. I’m surprised there are two conditions with that same trigger.

Anyway, if Larry hasn’t yet spoken to Dr. Gerald Berke at UCLA, he hasn’t finished investigating his options. I’d be happy to make an introduction.