Aphonia after closed head injury: Aetiologic considerations

Shimon Sapir, Arnold E. Aronson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This report describes two patients with closed head injuries and post‐traumatic aphonia who regained their voices within one session of symptomatic voice therapy. Their abilities to cough and swallow were intact, and articulation was only mildly impaired. One patient had an ataxic dysarthria and the other had spastic (pseudobulbar) dysarthria. Neither patient had oral‐verbal apraxia. The findings argue against laryngeal paralysis or apraxia of phonation as the underlying cause of the aphonia. Neuropsychologic assessment revealed mild generalised intellectual impairment and frontal lobe signs but no aphasia. We postulate that the aphonia may have been due to a frontal lobe‐limbic system disturbance, which affected these patients' motivation, personality, and judgment. Diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of post‐traumatic aphonia are discussed. 1985 Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-296
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Language and Communication Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1985
Externally publishedYes


  • aphonia
  • dysarthria
  • head injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Speech and Hearing
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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