Boston University Stepp Lab researches various voice and sensorimotor disorders. They hope to help guide new and existing forms of therapy. They are creating more objective measures to diagnose and assess the severity of adductor spasmodic dysphonia/laryngeal dystonia. They want to better understand the nature of SD/LD and how treatments impact symptoms.

Currently, they have an in-person study that consists of completing various questionnaires and speaking and reading tasks while being recorded by a microphone. The study also includes a trans-nasal exam, similar to the scope an ENT (otolaryngologist) uses to look at your vocal folds. A very thin tube with a camera at the end goes through your nose to look at your vocal folds. It doesn’t hurt but may be slightly uncomfortable at first. Once that is in place, you will be asked to say some words into a headset microphone while wearing a small sensor on your throat. The trans-nasal portion only lasts for 15 minutes. A study session lasts about 1.5 hours, and compensation is $20/hr. They also will reimburse some local travel. If you’re interested in participating or would like more information about the lab or the study, please reach out to stepplab@gmail.com  or 617-358-1395.


The Dystonia Medical Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to advancing research for improved dystonia treatments and ultimately a cure, promoting awareness, and supporting the well-being of affected individuals and families.