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Hard to Swallow: Health Conditions That Cause Dysphagia

Amanda Stevenson-Grund - Friday, July 31, 2015

Dysphagia, or difficulty with swallowing, is a sorely neglected medical disorder that impacts as many as 15 million Americans, with approximately one million people annually receiving a new diagnosis of the condition.
VitalStim Therapy by Chattanooga Group. Dysphagia Fact Sheet. 2005

An older woman with dysphagia looks at large pills she'll have trouble swallowing 

Dysphagia is most common among elderly patients, but trouble swallowing is not isolated to the geriatric patient population. Dysphagia can be a side effect of other, serious health problems. Diseases and conditions that directly or indirectly cause difficulty swallowing are those that affect the brain or nervous system and those that affect the esophagus.

Some diseases and health conditions can affect the brain, the nervous system or both. Patients with such conditions can find it difficult or impossible to swallow. Some examples of such diseases are muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Diseases and conditions that affect the esophagus can cause swallowing problems. One example of such a condition is scleroderma. Another is achalasia, in which the muscle ring at the bottom of the esophagus fails to relax. Such diseases and conditions often require medication, but trouble swallowing can mean low compliance when clinicians prescribe oral drugs.

Orbis Biosciences can improve medical compliance for people with trouble swallowing. Our optimµmTM platform allows us to develop oral medication a flexible, patient-friendly format. We also have the capability to develop long-lasting drugs that don’t need to be taken as frequently as traditional drugs. Our technology can improve compliance for people who have trouble swallowing. Many patients with many conditions experience dysphagia, and Orbis is ready to help all of them.

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