Mother of Dysphagia

For #BHSM (Better Hearing and Speech Month) and Mother's Day, we are paying homage to an extraordinary woman who has made a profound impact in the field of swallowing disorders
Dr. Jerilyn 'Jeri' Logemann

Dr. Jeri Logemann - Mother Of Dysphagia

Dr. Jeri Logemann was an internationally-renowned clinician, researcher, educator, mentor, and leader in the field of swallowing disorders (dysphagia) and speech-language pathology (SLP). She worked tirelessly to advance our knowledge of normal swallowing as well as treatment for those suffering from swallowing disorders.

Dr. Logemann was the Ralph and Jean Sundin Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northwestern University and Professor of Otolaryngology and Neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, where she directed the Voice, Speech, and Language Service and Swallowing Center.  After obtaining her bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees from Northwestern University, she joined the faculty and became one of the most influential leaders in the field of speech-language pathology.  A prolific scholar; she contributed ground-breaking books, journal articles, workshops, conference presentations and seminars on the management of voice disorders, normal swallowing physiology, and the assessment and treatment of speech and swallowing in head and neck cancer patients and those with neurological impairments.  A pioneer in the development of techniques for effective assessment and treatment of speech and swallowing disorders she (with Dr. Hilda Fisher) developed the Fisher-Logemann Test of Articulation Competence. She also developed the modified barium swallow study (MBSS) test, now considered to be the ‘gold standard’ test in the assessment of swallowing disorders.

Regarded as the leading authority in the assessment and treatment of dysphagia, Dr. Logemann's research was continuously funded by the US National Institutes of Health and other agencies for over 30 years. She formed the Clinical Sciences and Disorders Clinical Trials Research Group (CSDRG) in 1995 to assist in the design and conduct of large-scale treatment studies of speech, language, learning, voice, swallowing, hearing and balance disorders. She was an active member of IALP serving as the Chair of the Dysphagia Committee and co-founded the Dysphagia Research Society in 1991; the first trans-disciplinary society of its kind to promote research in the field of swallowing disorders. Dr. Logemann was a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Chicago Medical Society, and a recipient of the ASHA Honors of the Association, that organization’s highest award.  She was elected as the President of ASHA twice, serving from 1994-1997 and 2000-2003.

Dr. Logemann passed away on June 19, 2014 at the age of 72, surrounded by the love and warmth of her family and friends. Today, speech-language pathologists are considered to be the experts in the assessment and treatment of swallowing disorders across the lifespan and across a number of healthcare settings. This would not have been possible without the work done by trailblazing leaders in the field such as Dr. Jeri Logeman. We honor her today as the #MotherOfDysphagia on this Mother’s day, for all the tremendous challenges she overcame to live life to the fullest and ultimately move our profession forward.

Dr. Jerilyn Logemann’s relentless commitment to her work, skilled leadership, indomitable spirit despite relentless physical challenges, and her loyalty and generosity will be forever missed by her patients, students, friends and colleagues.

Tribute by
Ianessa Humbert and Rinki Varindani Desai
Dysphagia Grand Rounds

Dysphagia Grand Rounds 4

The fourth Dysphagia Grand Rounds (DGR 4) research article being reviewed in April 2017 is posted below. This study's objective was to test the treatment outcome of a 4-week expiratory muscle strength training (EMST) program on swallowing safety in patients with Parkinson's Disease. Does the use of EMST improve hyoid elevation? Does it decrease dysphagia severity and minimize the risks of aspiration? Be sure to read the article below to find answers to some of these questions and watch the DGR 4 webinar to maximize your learning experience. 

Aspiration and Swallowing in Parkinson Disease and Rehabilitation with EMST: A Randomized Trial

Authors: M.S. Troche, M.S. Okun, J.C. Rosenbek, N. Musson, H.H. Fernandez, R. Rodriguez, J. Romrell, T. Pitts, K.M. Wheeler-Hegland, and C.M. Sapienza
Journal:  Neurology. 2010;75(21):1912-1919.

Download DGR 4 article here

Download DGR 4 webinar here:


Dysphagia is the main cause of aspiration pneumonia and death in Parkinson disease (PD) with no established restorative behavioral treatment to date. Reduced swallow safety may be related to decreased elevation and excursion of the hyolaryngeal complex. Increased submental muscle force generation has been associated with expiratory muscle strength training (EMST) and subsequent increases in hyolaryngeal complex movement provide a strong rationale for its use as a dysphagia treatment. The current study's objective was to test the treatment outcome of a 4-week device-driven EMST program on swallow safety and define the physiologic mechanisms through measures of swallow timing and hyoid displacement.

This was a randomized, blinded, sham-controlled EMST trial performed at an academic center. Sixty participants with PD completed EMST, 4 weeks, 5 days per week, for 20 minutes per day, using a calibrated or sham, handheld device. Measures of swallow function including judgments of swallow safety (penetration–aspiration [PA] scale scores), swallow timing, and hyoid movement were made from videofluoroscopic images.

No pretreatment group differences existed. The active treatment (EMST) group demonstrated improved swallow safety compared to the sham group as evidenced by improved PA scores. The EMST group demonstrated improvement of hyolaryngeal function during swallowing, findings not evident for the sham group.

EMST may be a restorative treatment for dysphagia in those with PD. The mechanism may be explained by improved hyolaryngeal complex movement.