Swallowing, Chewing and Speaking: Frequently Impaired in Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy
SourceJournal of Neuromuscular Diseases, 7, 4, (2020), pp. 483-494
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Neuromuscular Diseases
SubjectRadboudumc 3: Disorders of movement DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
BACKGROUND: Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) is a late onset progressive neuromuscular disorder. Although dysphagia is a pivotal sign in OPMD it is still not completely understood. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to systematically investigate oropharyngeal functioning in a large OPMD population. METHODS: Forty-eight genetically confirmed OPMD patients completed questionnaires, performed clinical tests on swallowing, chewing, speaking, tongue strength and bite force, and underwent videofluoroscopy of swallowing. Descriptive statistics was used for all outcomes and logistic regression to investigate predictors of abnormal swallowing. RESULTS: Eighty-two percent reported difficulties with swallowing, 27% with chewing and 67% with speaking. Patients performed significantly worse on all oropharyngeal tests compared to age-matched controls except for bite force. Also asymptomatic carriers performed worse than controls: on chewing time, swallowing speed and articulation rate. During videofluoroscopy, all patients (except one asymptomatic) had abnormal residue and 19% aspirated. Independent predictors of abnormal residue were reduced swallowing capacity for thin liquids (OR 10 mL = 0.93; 20 mL = 0.95) and reduced tongue strength for thick liquids (OR 10 mL = 0.95); 20 mL = 0.90). Aspiration of thin liquids was predicted by disease duration (OR = 1.11) and post-swallow residue with 20 mL (OR = 4.03). CONCLUSION: Next to pharyngeal dysphagia, chewing and speaking are also frequently affected in OPMD patients, even in asymptomatic carriers. Residue after swallowing is a very early sign, while aspiration is a later sign in OPMD. For clinical follow-up monitoring of subjective complaints, swallowing capacity and tongue strength seems relevant.
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