Dysphagia and dysphonia among persons with post-polio syndrome - a challenge in neurorehabilitation

Acta Neurol Scand. 2010 Nov;122(5):343-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0404.2009.01315.x.


Objective: To study the occurrence of dysphagia and dysphonia in persons with post-polio syndrome admitted into the centre for neurological rehabilitation in Finland.

Materials and methods: Fifty-one persons with post-polio syndrome who were rehabilitated at Käpylä Rehabilitation Centre, Helsinki, Finland, in 2003-2004 were interviewed on problems with swallowing and voice production. Pulmonary function testing and grip strength measurement were performed. A clinical assessment of oral motor and laryngeal functions was carried out for those who reported daily problems with voice production or swallowing.

Results: Fifteen persons (29.4%) reported daily problems with swallowing or voice production. In the clinical assessment, the most commonly observed deficits in swallowing included decreased pharyngeal transit (n = 13) and the food catching in the throat (n = 4). The disturbance of co-ordination of breathing and voice production was seen in 12 persons. There were no significant differences in any of the potential predictors between the groups.

Conclusions: Professionals need to be aware of the routine evaluation of dysphagia and dysphonia in patients with post-polio syndrome.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology*
  • Deglutition Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Dysphonia / etiology*
  • Dysphonia / rehabilitation
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Hand Strength / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome / complications*
  • Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome / rehabilitation*
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Retrospective Studies