This article focuses on the current status and research directions on swallowing disorders (dysphagia) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Although epidemiological data are scarce, increased incidence of dysphagia in patients with PD leads to increased risk of mortality, secondary to aspiration pneumonia. Although studies show that aspiration pneumonia is a common cause of death in this group of patients, clinical practice lacks an evidence base and there is an increased need for randomized clinical trials. Importantly, the underlying mechanisms accounting for the progression of dysphagia in PD are still unclear. Furthermore, evidence shows that dopaminergic medication does not affect swallowing performance. Future research in the field is urgently needed and may result in improved management of dysphagia in patients with PD. © 2010 Expert Reviews Ltd.