Thesis Title

Dysphagia And Dementia: Examining The Interrelation

Date of Graduation

Spring 2001


Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Committee Chair

Julie Stierwalt

Subject Categories

Communication Sciences and Disorders


The purpose of this investigation was to explore the relation between dementia and dysphagia. The medical records of twenty-two individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer's or Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type (DAT) were evaluated to determine severity of dementia, nutritional status, and signs/symptoms of dysphagia (level of eating dependency and weight changes). The degree of dementia (Mini Mental State Examination, MMSE) was correlated with lab values indicating nutrition and hydration status. MMSE scores were also correlated with age and level of eating dependency. No significant correlation was found between the areas examined. Of interest to note was the finding that lab values associated with malnutrition and dehydration were not routinely collected in this subject population. Also, it appears in order to adequately examine the relation between these conditions, more sensitive measures of dementia and levels of dependency are needed.


© J.S.L McBratney