Key points

  • A neurological disorder is a condition affecting any part of the central or peripheral nervous system
  • A flexible and responsive approach is often required as the needs of people with rapidly progressing conditions can change quickly

What are progressive neurological disorders?

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Progressive neurological disorders are conditions where there is a progressive deterioration in functioning. Progression may be gradual over many years, or even decades or more rapidly over weeks and months. These disorders are likely to affect the individual for the rest of his or her life.

Early intervention is vital to ensure the individual and their carer(s) understand the condition, and are educated and supported in their ability to deal with ongoing and deteriorating communication, and swallowing issues (DH, 2005).

Discussion with the person and family members, where appropriate, is important in preparing for later decisions regarding alternative methods of communication and nutrition. It is important to monitor and ensure methods of communication throughout the course of the disorder.

Management of swallowing problems, intermittent or otherwise, needs constant surveillance with alternative strategies being discussed with the individual, carers and other members of the multidisciplinary team.

Role of speech and language therapy for progressive neurological disorders

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