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Authors McCulloch TM, Van Daele D, Ciucci MR
Author Profile(s)
Journal Head Neck Volume: 33 Suppl 1 Pages: S46-53
Publish Date 2011 Oct
PubMed ID 21910154
PMC ID 3469322

The glottis is composed of muscular, cartilaginous, and other viscoelastic tissues which perform some of our most important, complex, coordinated, and life-sustaining functions. Dominated by the thyroarytenoid muscles and associated glottic closure muscles, the larynx is involved in respiration, swallowing, voicing, coughing, valsalva, vomiting, laughing, and crying. With respiration continuing in the background, all other “secondary” laryngeal events seamlessly occur. When the delicate balance of coordinating these events is disrupted by disease or disorder, many of these tasks are compromised. Due to the complex innervation of these volitional and reflexive tasks with brainstem central pattern generators, primary sensorimotor areas and importantly, limbic areas, failure can occur due to disease, anatomic compromise, and even emotional state. Understanding the level of sensorimotor control and interaction among systems that share these laryngeal neuromuscular substrates will improve the diagnostic and therapeutic skill of the clinician when treating compromise of laryngeal function.

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