Aphagia is the inability or refusal to swallow food items. It is generally the result of a physiological problem caused by a number of different disease conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, or strokes. It can also be a side-affect of medical treatment such as chemotherapy or growths in and around the throat. It can also be a result of serious depression. In long-term cases it is necessary for doctors to find alternative feeding methods such as a nasogastric or abdominal feeding tube.