My father in law was diagnosed a few months ago - started with the slurred speech in April of 2012. He is 71. He speech and swallowing are getting worse -- similar to what I have read from other patients. Does anyone know of specific ipad apps that have helped with communication? Also what is a PEG tube and is it noticable? He really doesn't want face what is happening and and we are all trying to keep him healthy and keep his weight up... He recently started needing a cane - does this mean it is progressing beyond his speech and swallowing? Is there anything that can help?
How is your father-in-law? Progressive bulbar palsy involves the brain stem which is important in swallowing, speaking, chewing, and other functions. Symptoms include pharyngeal muscle weakness involved with swallowing, weak jaw and facial muscles, progressive loss of speech, and tongue muscle atrophy. Limb weakness is almost always evident but less prominent. Individuals are at increased risk of choking and aspiration pneumonia that is why a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) is often requested. A PEG is a safe and effective way to provide food, liquids and medications directly into the stomach. This procedure is done for patients who are having difficulty swallowing. It is best that you discuss the management plan with his attending physician for proper evaluation. Hope this helps. Take care and do keep us posted.
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