, Volume 12 , Issue 4 , pp 212 –221

Eating Changes in Mild-Stage Alzheimer's Disease: A Pilot Study

  • Beverly Ann  Priefer
  • JoAnne  Robbins

DOI: 10.1007/PL00009539

Cite this article as:
Priefer, B. & Robbins, J. Dysphagia (1997) 12: 212. doi:10.1007/PL00009539


Eating impairment is well documented in the late stage of Alzheimer's disease (AD) but when these eating changes actually begin in the disease process is not known. Eating was defined as consisting of two components, self-feeding and swallowing. Self-feeding and swallowing of healthy elderly were compared with a group of individuals with mild AD. AD subjects received significantly more partner-initiated cues or direct assistance than controls. In addition, subject-initiated cued behaviors occurred more frequently in the AD group. AD subjects demonstrated significantly prolonged swallow durations for the oral transit duration (cookie), pharyngeal response duration (liquid), and total swallow duration (liquid). This pilot study suggests that self-feeding and swallowing changes may occur early in the course of AD.

Key words: Alzheimer's disease — Eating — Swallowing — Self-feeding — Deglutition — Deglutition disorders.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beverly Ann  Priefer
    • 1
  • JoAnne  Robbins
    • 1
  1. 1.Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Wm. S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Administration Hospital Madison, WisconsinUS
  2. 2.School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WisconsinUS
  3. 3.Departments of Medicine and Surgery, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USAUS