Swallowing and dysphagia in neurological disorders

Rev Neurol Dis. 2010;7(1):19-27.


Neurologists are often confronted with swallowing disorders in routine practice. Swallowing impairments carry serious health consequences if they are overlooked or inappropriately managed. Swallowing problems usually develop in patients with established neurological conditions, although on occasion they may be a presenting symptom of a neurological disorder. Prompt recognition of dysphagia and early diagnosis can often be accomplished through a systematic clinical history and examination. This article reviews the physiology and neuroanatomy of normal swallowing and discusses pertinent clinical approaches toward evaluating a patient with neurogenical dysphagia. Important neurological conditions causing dysphagia are also discussed in this context.

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