Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s rare voice disorder may affect his campaign

​Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Joe Rogan's Podcast

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s rare voice disorder may affect his campaign

Joe Rogan Experience

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is increasingly in the media after his bid to challenge Biden for the Democratic Presidential nominee. And aside from many of his controversial claims, Kennedy Jr. has drawn attention to his rare voice disorder, spasmodic dysphonia.

Kennedy Jr. shared in 2007 in an issue of O, The Oprah Magazineabout his disorder saying "the disease didn't hit me until I was about 43. I used to have a strong voice."

Spasmodic dysphonia affects roughly one in 100,000 according to Cleveland Clinic. The disorder affects the muscles in the larynx by preventing the vocal cords from vibrating in a way that produces a normal speech pattern.

The disorder can cause breaks in speech, a strained voice, and speech that may be difficult to understand.

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, "there are no comparative studies pointing to a single, best treatment."

But speech therapy and botox injections are the most common forms of treatment. Botox weakens sections of the vocal cord muscle fibre, preventing the abnormal contractions that distort the patient's voice. however, new nerve cells eventually regenerate over a period of weeks and the vocal cords return to their normal strength, resulting in the continuation of the dysphonia.

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RFK Jr. has been subject to questions about his likelihood of receiving the democratic nomination after a CNN poll found that 20 per cent of democrats supported him compared 60 per cent for Joe Biden. His voice has also come into discussion when it comes to looking at Kennedy Jr.'s campaign.

An article published in Political Psychologyin 2015 four that both male and female voters have a greater preference for lower-pitched voices.

The general health of a candidate and strength of one's voice can also influence public opinion.

The question of president Joe Biden's health has been spoken about since he took office, and discussion has heightened since Biden announced his reelection campaign.

Washington Post-ABC News poll found that more than 6 in 10 Americans think Biden does not have the mental sharpness or physical health to serve effectively as president.

In the first televised debate in 1960 between JFK and Richard Nixon, JFK came out of the debate on top because he "looked and sounded good".

This was because Nixon had recently gotten out of hospital and refused stage makeup, whilst Kennedy looked young and energetic. Prior to the debate, Nixon had been ahead in the polls, the day after, Kennedy had become the slight favourite.

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