Swallowing in Alzheimer's disease

J. Horner, M. J. Alberts, D. V. Dawson, G. M. Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


Using a prospective case series design, we examined the incidence of oropharyngeal swallowing abnormalities in 25 patients with moderate or severe Alzheimer's disease by videofluoroscopy. Aspiration occurred in 6 of 25 (28.6%). Only four patients showed unequivocally normal performance. Exploratory statistical analyses showed that swallowing abnormalities associated significantly with duration of dementia, eating dependency, and abnormal oral praxis. We observed a trend toward a higher incidence of aspiration in patients with more severe dementia. We conclude that oropharyngeal swallowing abnormalities, including aspiration, are more prevalent in patients with Alzheimer's disease than in normal elderly individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-189
Number of pages13
JournalAlzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994


  • Alzheimer's
  • Barium swallow
  • Dementia
  • Dysphagia
  • Videofluoroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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