Neurogenic Dysphasia

Neurogenic dysphagia or preesophageal dysphagia is difficulty in swallowing food caused by disease or impairment of the nervous system.

Symptoms of Neurogenic Dysphagia

The symptoms of neurogenic dysphasia are:

  • Difficulty in swallowing food
  • Feeling that food is lodged on the throat
  • Coughing or choking when swallowing
  • Drooling, because of inability to swallow saliva
  • Food or liquid backing up through the nose

These symptoms may come and go – some people may not have these symptoms for weeks or months at a time, only to have them recur.

Some people do not realize that they have these symptoms, because they automatically chew their food or cut their food to smaller sizes to make it easier to swallow.


Your doctor will look for the following signs of neurogenic dysphagia:

  • Decreased gag reflex
  • Decreased ability to cough
  • Malnutrition or dehydration
  • Fever caused by infection of the lungs caused by food going into them
  • Depression

Tests for neurogenic dysphagia include:

  • Cine-esophagram
    An imaging test that shows the sequential muscle movements during swallowing

  • Barium swallow test

Causes of Neurogenic Dysphagia

Neurogenic dysphagia can be caused by:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Head injury
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • Chronic meningitis
  • Poliomyelitis

This neurological condition can also be made worse by:

  • Anesthetics
  • Anti-convulsive drugs
  • Sedatives
  • Neuroleptic medications
  • Corticosteroids
  • Lipid-lowering medications

Treatments of Neurogenic Dysphagia?

As neurogenic dysphagia may be a symptom of the underlying disease, such as Parkinson’s disease, medications for that disease may improve the patient’s ability to

Therapy to learn how to swallow easier can also treat neurogenic dysphagia. Here, a speech-language therapist can show the patient:

  • Postures and strategies to swallow better
    For example, muscle weakness due to stroke may require tilting the head a certain way

  • Techniques to protect the airway when swallowing

  • Modification to diet to include more thick liquids, as they are easier to swallow than solid food.

Main Menu
Health Articles
Health News
Health Research
Site Map

Health Conditions
Cardiovascular Health
Digestive Health
Infectous Diseases
Musculoskeletal Health
Pregnancy & Childbirth
Skin Health

Misc. Health Articles
Presidential Diseases

Digestive Conditions
All Digestive Conditions


©copyright 2004 - Health In Plain English. All Rights Reserved.

Health Articles Health News Health Research Explained in Plain English