Speech Pathology for Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition in which the immune system eats away at the protective covering of nerves (demyelination).
There are different types of MS:
- Progressive Relapsing MS
- Secondary Progressive MS
- Primary Progressive MS
- Relapsing Remitting MS
Dysphagia (swallowing difficulty) is a common symptom in MS. Signs and symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include: difficulty swallowing certain foods or liquids, coughing or throat clearing during or after eating/drinking, and feeling as if food is getting stuck.
Swallowing can become severely compromised and food/liquid can get into the lungs, causing aspiration pneumonia. Therefore, it is important to note any changes to swallowing as early as possible.
Speech Pathologists at iBrain specialise in providing assessment and management of dysphagia. We can help intervene early and preserve both health and quality of life. We also have experience in helping our clients to use the Respiratory Muscle Strength Training (RMST) Pressure Threshold Devices, such as EMST150 or the Breather. They provide opportunity to improve swallow, cough and speech function in a simple and easy way. It helps people with Parkinson’s Disease to slow the progression of cough and swallow symptoms and enhance quality of life! They are clinically validated and have been proven effective in reducing choking and aspiration risks.
SPEECH AND VOICE THERAPY
Approximately 25-40% of individuals with MS experience slurred speech (dysarthria) and voice disorder. Fatigue, tremors, and spasticity can also affect speech, as can some treatments because they cause a dry mouth.
At iBrain, we provide Neurological Speech Pathology for people with MS. These may include:
- Voice training
- Clear speech strategies
- Oro-motor exercises
- Exercises that strengthen or relax the muscles controlling the vocal cords and improve breathing
- Prescribing communication aids and communication devices
We also have Speech Pathologists who are certified in a specialty program called LSVT Loud, a scientifically documented efficacious program for treating the voice and speech disorders in people with MS.
Communication difficulties occur for people living with MS when the nerves controlling these functions are damaged. We can evaluate and treat the following disorders that may happen as a result of MS nerve damage:
- Word finding difficulty.
- Knowing what you want to say but having difficulty expressing it.
- Changes to memory, attention, organising thoughts, planning, or problem solving.
- Social communication (e.g. problems communicating for social purposes, like greetings or asking questions, or not understanding the audience that can result in such things as acting socially inappropriate in a group setting).