An Open Letter sent to 14,300 Ear, Nose and Throat Doctors
As you may be aware, I have demonstrated for many years that my exclusive non-invasive technique called Direct Voice Rehabilitation (DVR) can achieve dramatic results with spasmodic dysphonia (SD). This includes not only improvement or recovery but also cures. I’m writing to bring these results to your attention in the hope that you may find this information useful in your own practice as an alternative to invasive approaches.
Current medical treatment for spasmodic dysphonia focuses on two invasive options: Botox injections or surgery. The research literature has reported mixed results with surgery, and concerns about long-term use of Botox are increasing. Mitchell S. Brin, M.D., one of the pioneers in the use of Botox for SD, suggested at a conference on SD in March 1991 that this treatment should be withdrawn at the earliest possible time in favor of another substance.
Serious negative side effects following the use of Botox have been reported by patients. Gerald Berke, M.D., chairman of the UCLA Head and Neck Division, commented in the December 1999 newsletter of the National Spasmodic Dysphonia Association that there are a number of “obvious drawbacks” to Botox:
It requires lifelong visits from 4 to 10 times per year for repeat injections. The injections are not inexpensive. The interval between post injection breathiness, good voice, and the return of symptoms may not be very long in some patients. Hypersensitivity and antibody formation have been shown to produce some long term structural changes in muscle cells.
Direct Voice Rehabilitation, by contrast, causes no harm. It combines proven techniques of voice rehabilitation in a new way that, with committed patients, produces lasting cures. The results I have achieved have been with patients diagnosed with SD by many of the leading laryngologists in the country.
Many of my patients over the years have been diagnosed with SD by laryngologists who are listed below at the UCLA Medical Center, where I once served on the staff and faculty of the Head and Neck Division. Examples from UCLA include the following:
- Gerald Berke, M.D. diagnosed several patients with SD who were cured after pursuing DVR with me. (Names of all patients are with consent.) He referred Gayle Pace who he had diagnosed with severe Adductor/Abductor SD. I referred her back to him within a month with a normal voice. Ms. Pace remains cured 14 years after treatment. The Reverend Henry Sellers was diagnosed with SD by Daniel Truong, M.D. and given a Botox shot that was ineffective. The Reverend Sellers tried UCLA Medical Center and Dr. Berke referred him to my private practice. The Reverend Sellers remains cured after more than five years despite the complications of Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Berke diagnosed another patient with SD, Robin, who opted for DVR and has been cured for four years. Another patient he diagnosed with SD, Denise, was 95% better after a short time with my DVR program.
- Paul Ward, M.D., a former Chairman of the Head and Neck Division at UCLA Medical Center, diagnosed Marjorie Whitman with SD so severe that he recommended surgery. Ms. Whitman declined. She tried my DVR program. I referred her back to Dr. Ward with a normal voice. She remains cured of SD for years.
- Ed Kantor, M.D., who is also affiliated with the Cedars-Sinai ENT Division, diagnosed Lisa and Don with SD. Lisa was cured of SDafter working with me 25 years ago, and Don has been cured for 15 years.
- Robert Feder, M.D. diagnosed Ms. Z with SD and advised surgery. She was referred to me and has been cured of SD for over 20 years.
- Hans Von Leden, M.D., now affiliated with USC, then UCLA, diagnosed SD and referred Dr. T. who has been cured for over 30 years. He also referred a second patient diagnosed with SD who has been cured for years.
- The late Henry J. Rubin, M.D., who was affiliated with Cedars-Sinai as well as UCLA, referred four patients he diagnosed with SD, all cured by DVR over a period of years.
- In perhaps the most telling referral from the UCLA’s Head and Neck Division, one of its laryngologists referred his wife to me for treatment of her SD because he preferred my non-invasive treatment. She regained a normal voice through DVR. With these 15 dramatic cures involving the UCLA Medical Center alone and since SD is ostensibly incurable, some have asked, “Did these patients really have SD?” I can only say that the renowned laryngologists at UCLA, “the Best in the West,” diagnosed the SD patients that I treated in my private practice. These examples can be multiplied by my cures of many other patients diagnosed with severe SD at other leading medical centers including USC, Cedars-Sinai, Scripps, Mayo Clinic, Vanderbilt Medical Center, University of Michigan, University of California San Francisco, and other facilities. I have helped post-Botox and post-surgery SD patients to achieve cures by DVR.
- Arnold Aronson, Ph.D. of the Mayo Clinic, for example, diagnosed The Reverend James Johnson with severe SD. The Reverend Johnson recovered a normal voice after he pursued a one-month program of DVR rather than undergoing the recommended surgery. He has remained cured for 20 years. Dr. Aronson confirms the cure.
- Ron was diagnosed with SD at the Mayo Clinic and treated elsewhere with five Botox shots, all ineffective. Ron is cured from SD by my DVR program.
- Over three years ago, the Scripps ENT Clinic in La Jolla diagnosed Ginger, a young lady in her 20’s with Spasmodic Dysphonia. She was told that her condition was hopeless and that she required lifelong series of Botox shots. My program of DVR gave Ginger a normal effective voice and she has remained cured of her SD.
- Dr. Hess, an emergency room medical doctor was diagnosed with severe SD by her laryngologist. He referred her to me. She underwent a program of intensive DVR and remains cured of SD for four years.
- Identical twins were diagnosed with SD at a well-known medical center, one with Abductor and Adductor SD and the other with Adductor SD. They were told SD was due to genes and was incurable. Both tried Botox. Both underwent my intensive DVR program and were successful in finding excellent voices.
- Kim was diagnosed with Adductor/Abductor SD by Dr. Norman Hogikyan at the University of Michigan. Botox shots were ineffective. She tried a month of intensive DVR and has been cured of SD for over 6 years. Dr. Rubin, whom I mentioned above, was a participant in two workshops at Cedars-Sinai Medical Hospital in 1982 and 1990 at which I presented patients with confirmed severe SD who told of recovering their voices through DVR. Dr. Rubin said, “We know you are the only one successful by speech therapy. Why?” I replied, “I do not do speech therapy; I do Direct Voice Rehabilitation.” Dr. Rubin provided this testimonial: In the fifteen years immediately preceding my retirement from the active practice of otolaryngology, I have referred my patients in need of voice rehabilitation to Dr. Cooper because his results proved to be the most consistently satisfactory. His methods seemed essentially quite simple, in fact to the point of sometimes challenging believability, but they worked. He explains these methods in his book (Modern Techniques of Vocal Rehabilitation), and I believe that any voice therapist who gives them a serious and unbiased trial will be agreeably surprised. Other authorized testimonials about my voice rehabilitation techniques include those from the late Lee Edward Travis, Ph.D., one of the founders and a past president of the American Speech-Hearing- Language Association (“He’s the best in the business”); Robert H. Rand, M.D., professor of neurological surgery, UCLA Medical Center (“I found him to be really excellent”); and the late Joel J. Pressman, M.D., former chairman of the Head and Neck Division, UCLA Medical Center ( “Dr. Cooper is the best speech pathologist I know”). Jack Pressman is my hero. It was his strong support and total commitment to success that allowed me to develop DVR. He told me, “Bring me success, not theories.” I did. Without Jack Pressman, I would not have been able to find cures for spasmodic dysphonia, unilateral cord paralysis, and other voice problems through all-natural DVR, which I have reported in peer-reviewed publications. I owe my career to Jack Pressman, and the privilege of being part of his medical team.
I am grateful to my celebrity patients and others for their permission to release their names and to the ENT doctors who have availed themselves of my services to assist their SD patients by DVR: Henry Fonda, Shadoe Stevens and Keith Erikson all were diagnosed with SD and cured by my DVR program.
Mr. Fonda went on to star in On Golden Pond, for which he won an Oscar. I believe that any patient who has been diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia, suspected SD or any other voice disorder should be told of Direct Voice Rehabilitation.
DVR is a way to achieve a cure, recovery or improvement, especially since DVR is non-invasive, and dramatic results may be observed after a brief period of treatment. SD is curable by DVR. The SD patients have medical and hospital records indicating they have neurologically diagnosed SD.
I have been in full-time private practice for 35 years, and have presented lasting cures of severe SD at the Pacific Voice Conference in 1998, at California Speech-Language-Hearing Association Conferences, and at American Speech-Language-Hearing Association National Conferences in 1974, 1979, 1980, and 2000. In 1979, Ireceived a Certificate of Appreciation “In recognition of a significant contribution to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and to the Profession of Speech Pathology and Audiology.”
I have written books and chapters for professional handbooks and have published in medical/scientific journals on voice disorders. I also published an account of my cures and recoveries from SD in a peer reviewed report in the International Association of Logopedics and Phoniatrics in 1980. My bibliography is available on my website. A chapter from my latest book, Curing Hopeless Voices, The Strangled Voice (Spasmodic Dysphonia) & Other Voice Problems with Direct Voice Rehabilitation, An Alternative to Botox (©2006), as well as chapters from my book Stop Committing Voice Suicide on SD and other troubled voices are on my web site, as are articles on SD and DVR as well as testimonials.
For those interested in the cures and recoveries of SD by DVR, an audio and a video of my SD patients before and after DVR are available. I invite you to listen to the voices of cured SD patients before and after DVR on my website: www.voice-doctor.com. I also have a new DVD and VHS tape of cures of SD.
This letter is intended to provide meaningful information for educated judgment regarding the treatment of spasmodic dysphonia and other troubled voices through Direct Voice Rehabilitation. I welcome your views and comments.
Morton Cooper, Ph.D.