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How do you die of Parkinson’s Disease?

The NY Times has a periodic “Ask Well” series that runs a few times monthly and health experts (we assume) answer reader’s questions. The question of how people die from Parkinson’s disease was in today’s newspaper and resonated with me. Years ago, I asked a similar question of my surgeon, but for head and neck cancer. The most common cause of death for someone with Parkinson’s disease is pneumonia. The cause of pneumonia is aspirating foods and liquids into the lungs due to a compromised swallow.

Here’s a link to the story:

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2017 NFOSD Online Dysphagia Conference

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

8:00am – 3:00pm PST

2017 NFOSD Online Dysphagia Conference

Register Today

2017 NFOSD Online Dysphagia Conference

Conference Program

Course Summary (0.6 CEUs):

This comprehensive one-day live streaming dysphagia course is presented by 12 clinical and research swallowing disorder experts. The course begins with a review of the basics of the normal swallowing mechanics, taking neurology and age into consideration. It then moves into evaluation techniques, coping mechanisms, and diet modifications. From there, we move into rehabilitation and address exercises, device-driven options, and biofeedback techniques. It wraps up with surgical options, methods for staying healthy, and a panel discussion on living with dysphagia.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will identify the anatomy and physiology involved in normal swallowing for children and adults.
  • Participants will identify the symptoms, primary etiologies, and pathophysiology of disordered swallowing in children and adults.
  • Participants will demonstrate knowledge and skills needed to implement research-supported strategies for instrumental and non-instrumental evaluation of swallowing.
  • Participants will demonstrate the ability to devise research-supported treatment plans for specific swallowing impairments, taking into account motivation level, quality of life, cultural, ethical, and moral issues.

Who should attend:

This course is geared toward clinicians who care for patients in a skilled nursing facility, clinic, inpatient hospital,  or outpatient setting. It is also targeted to provide patients, caregivers, and students entering this field a comprehensive look at the current and emerging state of swallowing disorder assessment and rehabilitation techniques. There are over half a dozen Q&A sessions integrated into the program allowing ample time to answer specific questions you may have regarding all facets of this disorder.

Conference Planning Committee

(Click For Bios)

Kate Hutcheson, PhD (Committee Chair)

Liza Blumenfeld, CCC-SLP, BCS-S

Michelle Ciucci, PhD

Nancy Swigert, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, ASHA Fellow, ASHA Honors

Denise A. Barringer, CCC-SLP, BCS-S



Registration To register for the 2017 NFOSD Online Dysphagia Conference, please click here. Payment is due at time of registration. To receive the early bird discount, you must register by December 31, 2016. Payment can be made using credit/debit card or through a PayPal account. If the cost of this conference is preventative, please contact us at for a fee reduction.

Cancellation Policy: By registering as an online conference attendee, you agree and adhere to all policies and regulations. You agree to providing payment in full for the amount indicated on the registration form. If for any reason, the meeting must be canceled, management is not liable for any costs other than the pre-paid attendee registration fee. Should you decide to cancel this agreement and withdraw your registration, the refund/cancellation policy is as follows for registered attendees:

Cancellation 30+ days prior to meeting: 75% refund

Cancellation 29-11 days prior to meeting: 50% refund

Cancellation 10 days or less prior to meeting: No refund


This program is offered for 0.6 CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).

Downloadable Flyer


Content Disclosure: The content of this online course does not promote or focus exclusively on any specific proprietary product or service.

 The NFOSD would like to recognize and thank the following organizations supporting the NFOSD Online Dysphagia Conference:


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Understanding Dysphagia basics in under 3 Minutes – A new video

We’re always on the lookout for useful new content and came across this YouTube video that was recently posted. Click the image below to watch the video.


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Dysphagia as a Geriatric Syndrome

Oropharyngeal dysphagia has long been known to cause malnutrition, dehydration, respiratory infections, aspiration pneumonia, and increased readmissions, institutionalization, and morbimortality. Dysphagia is increasing in prevalence in our aging population, but despite this increase, dysphagia remains under-recognized and under-diagnosed in many medical centers.


The Dysphagia Working Group, a committee of members from the European Society for Swallowing Disorders and the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society, and three invited experts, is calling for increased recognition and treatment of oropharyngeal dysphagia, which they have deemed as a “geriatric syndrome,” as it is highly prevalent among older people, is caused by multiple factors, is associated with several comorbidities and poor prognosis, and requires a multidimensional treatment approach.


The link below will direct readers to the Dysphagia Working Group’s position paper, which consists of 12 sections that cover all aspects of oropharyngeal dysphagia related to geriatric medicine: diagnosis, prevalence, physiopathology, complications, management, treatment, and legal and ethical issues.



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Spread the Word, Save A Life

Click Here to Save a Life

The button above will take you to the NIDCD website where you can provide a brief comment on how a swallowing disorder affects you, someone close to you, or the people you support in your clinic and/or research. Deadline to respond is 9/30/16.

Please use the words “swallowing disorder” or “dysphagia” in your comment.

NIDCD Request for Comment Background (Summary) 

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently released their draft of the NIDCD Strategic Plan for years 2017-2021. The goals in the draft are based on an assessment of research areas that present the greatest scientific opportunities and that address the greatest public health needs over the next five years for hearing and balance; taste and smell; and voice, speech and language. A recent NIH Reporter search of current fiscal year funding of grants that listed both swallowing and dysphagia in their descriptions identified 77 grants, 22 of which were supported by the NIDCD; that is 28.6%. Because many other NIH Institutes and Centers look to the NIDCD as being the primary source for dysphagia funding, if the NIDCD chooses to exclude dysphagia from its program priorities and explicitly from its 2017 – 2021 strategic plan, support for dysphagia research may see a substantial decrease. This would likely create a larger gap in funding for a condition that is already under-funded. continue reading →