Google’s voice: ZDNet Health explores Larry Page’s vocal condition

Denise Amrich, ZDNet's resident RN, takes us on a visual tour of the medical conditions affecting the vocal cords of Google CEO Larry Page, the voice of Google.

 For about a year now, there’s been a moderate amount of concerned speculation about Google CEO Larry Page’s voice-related medical condition. Page’s recent official statements about his struggles with vocal cord nerve strain and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis has shed light on the subject, and helped people understand what’s going on.

Transparency and disclosure is preferable to mystery and speculation because it fosters trust in a corporation. Of course, this has to be balanced with what’s right for the privacy and wellbeing of an individual who also happens to be a public personality.

Kudos to Page for demonstrating grace under pressure with comments like, “Sergey says I’m probably a better CEO because I choose my words more carefully. So surprisingly, overall I am feeling very lucky.”

This statement demonstrates the support of friends and colleagues, showcases an ability to appreciate unexpected silver linings in unfortunate circumstances (a great talent of wise discernment in a CEO), and highlights the likeable quality of humble gratitude. Obviously the statements themselves have been carefully crafted for public release, but they’re pretty well done because they ease concerns about Page’s fitness to lead.

Page has made lemonade out of the lemons he’s been dealt, both by speaking out about conditions that affect a great many people, and by making a sizeable donation to fund a significant research program at the Voice Health Institute. Visit their site to read a nice thank-you note from the organization’s president, and to see a cool picture of Dr. Steven Zeitels (the physician who inspired Larry Page, and the head of the research project) sitting alongside vocal greats Julie Andrews, The Who's Roger Daltrey, and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler.

Vocal Cord Paralysis

If you’re interested in learning more about vocal cord paresis (which is another way of saying paralysis), I dug up a couple of very informative videos for you by Dr. James Thomas, a laryngologist. His website, is full of information and pictures about all kinds of voice disorders.

In the first video Dr. Thomas answers the question, "What is vocal cord paralysis?" showing audio and video clips from actual exams to explain the disorder. The case in the video represents the easiest type of vocal cord paralysis to diagnose. Obviously, the case (and its causes) described in the video are not that of Larry Page, but it is very helpful for general understanding.

In Part Two, Dr. Thomas goes into greater depth and describes surgical intervention for the condition. Again, not being privy to the exact course of Larry Page’s treatment I can’t comment on how the treatment described in the video relates to what the Google CEO may have encountered, but it is really informative and the visuals are incredible.

Hashimodo’s Thyroiditis

Larry Page also disclosed in his statements that he has Hashimodo’s Thyroiditis. If you want to know more about Hashimodo’s disease, watch this short but very informative video by Dr. Robert G. Lahita.

Larry Page has always been a pretty interesting guy. Here at ZDNet we love a good article about Larry Page. Also on ZDNet: