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The Relationship Between Limit of Dysphagia and Average Volume Per Swallow in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease

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The goal of this study was to obtain the limit of dysphagia and the average volume per swallow in patients with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease (PD) but without swallowing complaints and in normal subjects, and to investigate the relationship between them. We hypothesize there is a direct relationship between these two measurements. The study included 10 patients with idiopathic PD and 10 age-matched normal controls. Surface electromyography was recorded over the suprahyoid muscle group. The limit of dysphagia was obtained by offering increasing volumes of water until piecemeal deglutition occurred. The average volume per swallow was calculated by dividing the time taken by the number of swallows used to drink 100 ml of water. The PD group showed a significantly lower dysphagia limit and lower average volume per swallow. There was a significantly moderate direct correlation and association between the two measurements. About half of the PD patients had an abnormally low dysphagia limit and average volume per swallow, although none had spontaneously related swallowing problems. Both measurements may be used as a quick objective screening test for the early identification of swallowing alterations that may lead to dysphagia in PD patients, but the determination of the average volume per swallow is much quicker and simpler.

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The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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Correspondence to Luciana Rodrigues Belo.

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Belo, L.R., Gomes, N.A.C., Coriolano, M.G.W.S. et al. The Relationship Between Limit of Dysphagia and Average Volume Per Swallow in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease. Dysphagia 29, 419–424 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00455-013-9512-7

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  • Surface electromyography
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Piecemeal deglutition
  • Dysphagia limit
  • Deglutition
  • Deglutition disorders