Experts to present research on prevention, management of dysphagia at international conference

Over 800 delegates from 46 countries will attend the 8th annual European Society for Swallowing Disorders (ESSD) Congress taking place in Dublin next week to hear about new developments in swallowing disorder research.

At the congress, international swallowing and voice experts will share their research into the prevention and management of swallowing problems, also known as dysphagia. During the weeklong event, there will be a strong emphasis on facilitating collaborations between leading scientists, clinicians and researchers in swallowing disorders.

Difficulty feeding and swallowing is a common problem in populations such as preterm infants, children with various neurological problems and craniofacial anomalies such as cleft palate. It is also frequently associated with acquired neurological conditions such as motor neurone disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, dementia as well as head and neck cancer.

These swallowing problems can lead to malnutrition, dehydration, aspiration pneumonia and choking and are a leading cause of death. Tube feeding, modified diets, surgery, and various other costly interventions are used with a significant impact on the quality of life of the person with dysphagia.

The European Society for Swallowing Disorders (ESSD) is the leading European forum for dysphagia research and is rapidly becoming the one of the world's foremost platforms for the dissemination of clinical dysphagia research. The society promotes care, education and research in swallowing disorders across Europe.

Topics that will be covered at the congress include new approaches to managing aspiration; rehabilitation in dysphagia; new tools to assess swallow function; innovations in dysphagia assessment; interventions in chronic respiratory disease; dysphagia in chronic respiratory disease and dysphagia rehabilitation in critical care.

Margaret Walshe, Associate Professor in Speech Language Pathology, Trinity College Dublin, Vice President of ESSD and Chairperson of the congress commented: "We are delighted to be hosting the 8th annual European Society for Swallowing Disorders Congress here in Dublin for the first time. This annual congress provides a forum for medical and healthcare professionals from all over the world to share the latest clinical research on swallowing disorders in paediatric and adult populations. The Congress theme for 2018, 'Dysphagia: Shaping the Future', underpins the progress we have made in the field of dysphagia to date, while emphasising the need to progress research and clinical practice over the next decade."

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