Sarcopenic dysphagia: a narrative review
Mini-Review, 147 - 149Tag this article
Sarcopenia and dysphagia are two disabling conditions sharing several etiological risk factors and their coexistence has captured the scientific interest in the last few years. Malnutrition, aging and inactivity have been considered the main risk factors underlying sarcopenia and dysphagia; however they are not sufficient to fully elucidate the patho-physiological mechanisms underpinning these two conditions. Recent studies showed that sarcopenia could be a main cause of dysphagia and similarly dysphagia might directly induce or worsen sarcopenia. Indeed, these two pathological conditions are widely considered independent risk factors for each other. Recently, the term “sarcopenic dysphagia” was introduced to identify a condition characterized by the loss of muscle mass and strength of deglutition musculature, with consequent impairment in swallowing function. However precise diagnostic criteria and treatment indications are lacking. Further evidence is needed to define unequivocal diagnostic criteria and the role of a multidisciplinary treatment, also known as “rehabilitation nutrition”, in the management of sarcopenic dysphagia.
KEY WORDS: sarcopenia; deglutition disorders; muscle weakness; malnutrition; dietary supplements; rehabilitation.