, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 14-22

Prepharyngeal dysphagia in Parkinson's disease

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Abstract

Dysphagia in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) is most often atributed to pharyngeoesophageal motor abnormalities. In our study of patients with idiopathic PD, attention was focused on prepharyngeal symptoms and motor functions. Using the Hoehn and Yahr disease severity scale, patients were grouped into those with mild/moderate disease [subgroup I (n=38)] and those with advanced disease [subgroup II (n=34)]. Dysphagia symptoms were present in 82% of all patients, but subgroup I patients voiced significantly more complaints. Conversely, many prepharyngeal abnormalities of ingestion, including jaw rigidity, impaired head and neck posture during meals, upper extremity dysmotility, impulsive feeding behavior, impaired amount regulation, and lingual transfer movements were statistically more frequent in subgroup II patients. Impaired mastication and oral preparatory lingual movements were the most common aberrations observed during dynamic videofluoroscopy (48/71), with most patients being concordant for both. The motor disturbances of ingestion reported herein reflect the disintegration of volitional and automatic movements caused by PD-related akinesia, bradykinesia, and rigidity.