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Dysphagia. 2008 Mar;23(1):26-32. Epub 2007 Jun 6.

Effects of bolus consistency on timing and safety of swallow in patients with Parkinson's disease.

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Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Florida, Gainesville, PO Box 117420, Florida 32611, USA.


Aspiration pneumonia is the leading cause of death in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. In clinical practice, the videofluoroscopic examination (VFE) is the most common method for evaluation of swallowing disorders. One of the variables manipulated during the VFE is consistency of the bolus. The results of this examination greatly influence the recommendations made by speech-language pathologists regarding swallow therapy and/or intervention. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the effects of bolus consistency on penetration-aspiration (P-A) score and timing of swallow of persons with PD. The videoradiographic images of ten participants with PD swallowing six thin and six pudding-thick boluses were analyzed. Swallow timing and P-A were measured. (i.e., oral transit time, pharyngeal transit time, number of tongue pumps, and P-A score). The results demonstrated various significant differences and relationships among the dependent variables. Implications for further research and clinical practice are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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