Swallowing

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Related to impaired swallowing: dysphagia

Swallowing

 

a complex reflex act in which food is carried from the oral cavity to the esophagus and stomach by the contraction of some muscles and the relaxation of others.

In vertebrates and man, the swallowing reflex arises upon stimulation of the sensitive endings of the trigeminal, superior and inferior laryngeal, and glossopharyngeal nerves in the mucous membrane of the soft palate. The swallowing center is located on the floor of the fourth ventricle in the medulla oblongata. The first phase of swallowing is voluntary. The lump of chewed food is pushed into the pharynx by movements of the cheeks and tongue. Contraction of the palatine arches and radix linguae, closure of the nasopharyngeal cavity, and covering of the entrance to the larynx by the epiglottis allow the bolus to be pushed only into the opening of the esophagus, whose peristaltic movements provide for its further passage. Swallowing ends with relaxation of the muscular closure and entrance to the stomach. Liquid passes through the esophagus under the influence of pressure created in the pharynx and its own weight.

References in periodicals archive ?
Some therapies, such as steroids used to treat MS relapses, or medications used to treat spasticity, can also lead to impaired swallowing or cause dry mouth.
Persons with more impaired swallowing detrained to a greater degree than persons with more functional swallowing at baseline.
The most common risk factors for FBA in adults include increased age, impaired swallowing reflex, mental retardation, and altered mental status due to various causes including trauma, neurological illness, medications, substance abuse, and seizures.
Categorical variables (sex, ethnicity, income category, housing, education category, admission level of consciousness, impaired swallowing, type of stroke, disability category, blood glucose category and blood pressure category) were compared using the [chi square] test, or Fisher exact test when appropriate, and continuous variables (age, mBI, mRS) were compared, owing to non-normality of distribution of variables analysed, using the Mann-Whitney or Kruskal-Wallis non-parametric test.
The visits highlighted that although we have robust policies in providing nutritional meals for our patients, including those with impaired swallowing function, our staff were not always aware of what was available.
According to the Alzheimer's Association, characteristics of this stage of the disorder include the following: 1) loss of awareness of recent experiences, events, and surroundings and an inability to respond to the environment, 2) poor recollection of personal historical information, 3) loss of capacity for recognizable speech, 4) urinary and fecal incontinence, 5) disruption of normal sleep/waking cycle, 6) inability to eat or toilet without assistance, 7) inability to walk or to sit upright without assistance, 8) inability to recognize spouse or primary caregiver, 9) impaired swallowing, and 10) death.
Due to suspected aspiration, a bedside swallow evaluation was performed which was significant for impaired swallowing.