Dysphagia in multiple sclerosis: from pathogenesis to diagnosis

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Abnormalities of swallowing are commonly encountered in Multiple Sclerosis (MS), especially in the most disabled patients. The disturbances usually involve oral and pharyngeal phases of swallowing, although upper oesophageal sphincter dysfunction has also been detected. MS patients need to be effectively evaluated and managed in order to recognize dysphagia before any medical complications such as aspiration pneumonia appear. An integrated approach is proposed to define the severity of dysphagia and to devise the most appropriate therapeutic/rehabilitative methodology.

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