Neurogenic dysphagia: physiology, physiopathology and rehabilitative treatment

Patti F, Emmi N, Restivo DA, Liberto A, Pappalardo A, Torre LM, Reggio A.

Clin Ter. 2002 Nov-Dec;153(6):403-19. Review. Italian.


Swallowing is both a voluntary than a reflex function. It consist in transporting feeding from mouth to the stomach. Swallowing function occurs with very frequency during the day and needs complex neuromuscular coordination. Several neurologic diseases determine swallowing disorders. Dysphagia, is the difficulty in swallowing. In slight disorders, swallowing function is sufficiently compensated, symptoms are few or absent. Sometimes the patient is able to compensate and obtains a safe deglutition. Rehabilitation of swallowing disorders is based on the assessment of all symptoms and troubles causing dysphagia and on the improvement of the specific disabilities. Rehabilitation is aimed to make patient able for a safe oral feeding. We can use classic specific physiotherapy, compensatory movements of head and neck, electrostimulation, and the chemical myotomia by botulinum toxin injection.


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