IJCM  Vol.8 No.12 , December 2017
Correlation between Cognitive Aspects and Dysphagia in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Preliminary Report
Abstract: Introduction: Cognitive impairment has been identified in 30% - 50% of the population with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Among these patients, dysphagia is not only a very common symptom but also one of the main bulbar symptoms. Objective: To correlate cognitive function and dysphagia in patients with ALS. Methods: a cross-sectional study. Criteria for inclusion were an ALS diagnosis and the signing of the consent form. Criteria for exclusion were patients who had undergone speech therapy, patients within sufficient oral language skills to participate in cognitive tests, patients receiving enteral feeding and patients who withdrew from the study before completing all the stages. Evaluations of cognition and dysphagia were performed. Results: The initial sample consisted of 86 participants, 69 of which fell under exclusion criteria. Seventeen patients were evaluated, with a mean age of 49.8 (±11.3) and a mean education period of 7.1 (±2.8) years. Disease evolution was analyzed in months, with a median of 24 (P25 = 10; P75 = 72) months. In this sample, 70.6% of patients were male (p = 0.019). Among the tests performed, those of executive functions were correlated with dysphagia: FAB (p = 0.019) and Trail Making Test A (p = 0.006). Conclusion: This pilot study suggests a correlation between executive functions and dysphagia.
Cite this paper: Olchik, M. , Ghisi, M. , Winckler, P. and Ayres, A. (2017) Correlation between Cognitive Aspects and Dysphagia in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Preliminary Report. International Journal of Clinical Medicine, 8, 680-691. doi: 10.4236/ijcm.2017.812063.

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