Aktuelle Neurologie 2009; 36 - M94
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1238357

Schluckstörungen bei geriatrischen Patienten mit dementieller Entwicklung

M Prosiegel 1
  • 1Bad Heilbrunn

Dysphagia and aspiration pneumonia are the 2 most serious medical conditions seen in late-stage Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Pseudobulbar dysphagia is associated with weight loss, which is not always prevented by optimizing the management of the dysphagia. Failure of basic homeostatic mechanisms appears to play an important role in the nutritional status of these patients. Aspiration pneumonia is the most common cause of death in end-stage AD. The primary problems that predispose to aspiration pneumonia include a reduced level of consciousness, dysphagia, loss of the gag reflex, periodontal disease, and the mechanical effects of inserting various tubes into the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. The bacterial flora involved include the indigenous oral flora (among which aerobes predominate) and, in the hospital or nursing home setting, nosocomially acquired pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus and various aerobic and facultative gram-negative bacilli that may colonize in patients. In addition to treatment with antibiotics, adequate symptomatic treatment of AD patients with pneumonia is a priority in order to relieve suffering.