Northwestern's Comprehensive Care Model - Speech and Swallow Therapy
In the movement disorders clinic, the Speech and Language Pathologist evaluates the speech pattern of a patient, and designs treatment for that person's unique pattern. The speech therapist first assesses the degree of one's speech changes and difficulties, whether mild, moderate, or severe.
The Speech and Language Pathologist also assesses for dysphagia, or swallow problems, in patients with Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders. As many as 50% of people with PD develop swallowing difficulties. These problems may worsen as the disease progresses. Dysphagia can present with a variety of symptoms: coughing, choking, throat-clearing, or gurgly voice when eating or drinking; drooling; complaints of food “sticking;” increased time required for meals (not related to manual dexterity); unintentional weight loss. In the office, the speech therapist can do a clinical, or “bedside,” swallow screening. In addition, a videofluoroscopy (Modified Barium Swallow study) can be scheduled.
Comprehensive Care Model