View Full Version : Dysarthria/Dysphagia problem

09-02-2015, 07:09 PM
I have been suffering from dysarthria (speech difficulties) for just over 2 years. For the first year it was barely noticeable but since then it has become a lot worse. I have had several MRI scans and an EMG/NCV test. My neurologist suspects that nerve damage between my brain and my mouth is the cause of my slow and slurred speech but so far he has not offered me a conclusive diagnosis.

About 6 months ago, I began to have problems swallowing; drinking liquids or my own saliva. I have recently started going to speech therapy sessions to see if they can help with my dysphagia. The good news is that all the worst things that it could have been (Motor Neurone, PML, neurotoxic damage) are ruled out but it is still very frustrating to have no idea of what is causing this after 2 years. A month ago my Mum died and, because of the stress and how tired I was, I couldn't say goodbye to her or tell her I loved her. So I just held her hand.

I also have rheumatoid arthritis, for which I am injecting Methotrexate, as well as Raynaud's Phenomenon and Tinnitus.

09-02-2015, 07:48 PM
You have a lot of auto immune stuff going on with arthritis, Raynauds, etc. Have you been tested for Myasthenia Gravis or Lupus? Sera

09-03-2015, 04:39 PM
Lupus was a contributing factor in my Mum's death but so far no one in my medical team has suggested that I should be tested for the disease. I might ask my doctor if he thinks it's worth a check.

09-03-2015, 05:50 PM
If your Mom had lupus, you are at high risk for autoimmune disorders, but not necessarily the same one. AI's run in families but each person could have a different AI disease. Swallowing difficulties can occur from scarring from GERD, common in lupus, or disordered esophageal motility, common in scleroderma. I think a rheum evaluation that is thorough is certainly a good idea, and a GI consult with possible endoscopy to see if you have a stenosis at the esophageal-gastric junction or esophageal spasm to explain the swallowing difficulties. The speech difficulties are a little harder to explain, and probably need investigated more by the neurologist. You need a team, in other words, to get this figured out. Your family history is an important piece of the puzzle and should be included in any Dr. visit.