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Pseudodysphagia in a Person with Parkinson’s Disease: A Case Report

M. Sonam Belliappa, SP Goswami


Pseudodysphagia is a psychosomatic fear of choking and is an unusual type of dysphagia encountered by a Speech Language and Swallow Pathologist (SLP). The patients presenting this illness are afraid of swallowing as they fear that swallowing will lead to choking. The assessment and rehabilitation of pseudodysphagia is challenging and requires an SLP to work with a multidisciplinary team comprising An SLP, Psychologist, Neurologist, ENT specialist, Radiologist, Gastroenterologist, and a Psychiatrist. In this case report we present a 65 year old woman with Parkinson’s disease (PD) presenting pseudodysphagia. Additionally we discuss the swallow assessment, differential diagnosis and management of dysphagia in the case reported. The role of SLPs in dysphagia rehabilitation of psychogenic induced dysphagia is poorly understood. However, the patients’ successful dysphagia management highlights the multifaceted role played by the SLP in providing services to these individuals. The current article is the first evidence to have reported successful swallow assessment and rehabilitation, highlighting the role of a SLP in the assessment and management pseudodysphagia. Professional acceptance of SLP services by different healthcare professionals in rehabilitating dysphagia of psychogenic origin, particularly in developing countries like India, can encourage more referrals of such cases.


Psychogenic dysphagia, Pseudodysphagia, Dysphagia management, SLP services, rehabilitation.

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