Dysphagia is more frequently observed in patients with neurologic diseases (stroke, bulbar or pseudo-bulbar syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cranial trauma). Furthermore, the presence of this pathology is obviously more frequently noted in the light of the increase in the length of the human life span. It has become evident that alternative feeding procedures such as the nasogastric tube or gastrostomy may bring about complications and deprive patients of the oral phase of deglutition which plays a leading role in stimulating digestive functions. The Authors report a systematic research on the rehabilitation aspects of neurogenous dysphagia. All the patients studied underwent a neurological examination and oropharyngeal functional evaluation using echo-videorecording of the oral phase of deglutition and fluoro-videorecording of the pharyngeal phase. The data obtained allowed for the selection of five patients considered suitable for the rehabilitation program. One of them had a multi-infarct encephalopathy, two a spastic hemiplegia f.b.c., a fourth a cerebellar syndrome and the last a sequela of meningioma removal of the ponto-cerebellar angle with peripheral paralysis of the right VII, IX, X, XI cranial nerves. This last patient also underwent a crico-pharyngeal myotomy. Therapy consisted in making the patient sensitive to swallowing movements and in training them to assume a compensatory posture as well as functional rehabilitation of the organs involved in deglutition. The first datum emerging from the study is the lack of etiological homogeneity found in the cases treated with evident variability in different deglutition organ impairment, even though there was the common denominator of the dysphagia symptom. With regard to the results obtained, there was a complete resolution in one patient, while in the other four there was such an improvement as to allow the patients a safe autonomous oral assumption of food. The positive results obtained are not only linked to the recovery of damaged organs, but also to the development of compensatory strategies such as the choice of appropriate food consistency and the assumption of postures which protect the respiratory tract from aspiration and favor crico-pharyngeal relaxation.
|Translated title of the contribution||Rehabilitation of oro-pharyngeal dysphagia of neurogenic etiology using radiological examination: preliminary results|
|Number of pages||27|
|Journal||Acta Otorhinolaryngologica Italica|
|Volume||12 Suppl 36|
|Publication status||Published - 1992|
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