Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease which attacks the central nervous system. It causes a gradual degeneration of the nerves. This results in a progressive deterioration in various functions such as speech and swallowing problems. Symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another.
Symptoms Of Multiple Sclerosis
Swallowing Difficulties and Multiple Sclerosis:
Coughing or choking when eating
Feeling like food is lodged in the throat
Unexplained recurrent lung infections
Otherwise unexplained malnutrition or dehydration
When swallowing difficulties are present, food or liquids that you eat may be inhaled into the trachea (windpipe) instead of going down the esophagus and into the stomach. Once in the lungs, the inhaled food or liquids can cause pneumonia or abscesses. Because the food or drink is not reaching the stomach, a person may also be at risk for malnutrition or dehydration.
Symptoms of Speech Problems in Multiple Sclerosis.
slurred, imprecise or slower speech
low volume or weak voice due to respiration problems
difficulty with resonance and pitch control
the appearance of speaking through the nose
abnormally long pauses between words or syllables of words – this is called ‘scanned speech’.
dysarthia, in which the capability to understand, remember words and construct sentences is not lost but the ability to speak clearly becomes affected
Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis
Speech and Language Therapy
The Speech and Language Therapist will assess and diagnose your Speech and/or swallowing difficulties associated with Motor Neuron Disease. The role of the Speech and Language Therapist is to help maintain skills for as long as possible, manage symptoms and adopt compensatory strategies for loss of function.Treatment will be individually tailored to each client.
Our Physiotherapists provide treatment for people with Motor Neuron Disease to help slow down the progression of the disease so that they can remain independent for longer. Our Physios will show the patient a series of exercises that aim to maintain flexibility in the muscles and joints affected by motor neuron disease as well as improving the strength in the muscles not affected by the disease. Some patients with MND experience breathing difficulties and our physios can provide treatment to help clear chests and maintain lung capacity which should make breathing easier.
Our Expertise in Multiple Sclerosis
Our Speech and Language Therapists and Physiotherapists work with Motor Neuron Disease patients to identify the associated difficulties they are experiencing in order to provide them with the most effective form of treatment to manage these difficulties. The aim of treatment is to help the individual to maintain skills in order to remain independent for as long as possible and to adopt compensatory strategies to manage the symptoms.
All of Spectrum Health’s Adult Speech and Language therapists and Physiotherapists are qualified from University with a B.Sc. or M.sc (Hons) in the relevant field and have ample experience working with adults who have Motor Neuron Disease.