Mulheren RW, Ludlow CL.
J Neurophysiol. 2017 Sep 1;118(3):1698-1708. doi: 10.1152/jn.00244.2017. Epub 2017 Jul 5
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Sensory input can alter swallowing control in both the cortex and brainstem. Electrical stimulation of superior laryngeal nerve afferents increases reflexive swallowing in animals, with different frequencies optimally effective across species. Here we determined 1) if neck vibration overlying the larynx affected the fundamental frequency of the voice demonstrating penetration of vibration into the laryngeal tissues, and 2) if vibration, in comparison with sham, increased spontaneous swallowing and enhanced cortical hemodynamic responses to swallows in the swallowing network. A device with two motors, one over each thyroid lamina, delivered intermittent 10-s epochs of vibration. We recorded swallows and event-related changes in blood oxygenation level to swallows over the motor and sensory swallowing cortexes bilaterally using functional near infrared spectroscopy. Ten healthy participants completed eight 20-min conditions in counterbalanced order with either epochs of continuous vibration at 30, 70, 110, 150, and 70 + 110 Hz combined, 4-Hz pulsed vibration at 70 + 110 Hz, or two sham conditions without stimulation. Stimulation epochs were separated by interstimulus intervals varying between 30 and 45 s in duration. Vibration significantly reduced the fundamental frequency of the voice compared with no stimulation demonstrating that vibration penetrated laryngeal tissues. Vibration at 70 and at 150 Hz increased spontaneous swallowing compared with sham. Hemodynamic responses to swallows in the motor cortex were enhanced during conditions containing stimulation compared with sham. As vibratory stimulation on the neck increased spontaneous swallowing and enhanced cortical activation for swallows in healthy participants, it may be useful for enhancing swallowing in patients with dysphagia.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Vibratory stimulation at 70 and 150 Hz on the neck overlying the larynx increased the frequency of spontaneous swallowing. Simultaneously vibration also enhanced hemodynamic responses in the motor cortex to swallows when recorded with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). As vibrotactile stimulation on the neck enhanced cortical activation for swallowing in healthy participants, it may be useful for enhancing swallowing in patients with dysphagia.
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Kyeong Woo Lee, MD, PhD, Sang Beom Kim, MD, PhD, Jong Hwa Lee, MD, PhD, Sook Joung Lee, MD, PhD, Jae Won Ri, MD, and Jin Gee Park, MD
Ann Rehabil Med. Apr 2014; 38(2): 153–159.
Published online Apr 29, 2014.
To compare the outcome of an early application of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) combined with traditional dysphagia therapy (TDT) versus traditional dysphagia therapy only in acute/subacute ischemic stroke patients with moderate to severe dysphagia by videofluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS).
Fifty-seven dysphagic stroke patients were enrolled in a VFSS within 10 days after stroke onset. Patients were randomly assigned into two treatment groups. Thirty-one patients received NMES combined with TDT (NMES/TDT group) and 26 patients received TDT only (TDT group). Electrical stimulation with a maximal tolerable intensity was applied on both suprahyoid muscles for 30 minutes, 5 days per week during 3 weeks. The swallowing function was evaluated at baseline and 3, 6, and 12 weeks after baseline. Outcomes of the VFSS were assessed using the Functional Oral Intake Scale (FOIS).
The mean ages were 63.5±11.4 years in the NMES/TDT group and 66.7±9.5 years in the TDT group. Both groups showed a significant improvement on the FOIS after treatment. The FOIS score was significantly more improved at 3 and 6 weeks after baseline in the NMES/TDT group than in the TDT group (p<0.05).
An early application of NMES combined with TDT showed a positive effect in acute/subacute ischemic stroke patients with dysphagia. These results indicated that the early application of NMES could be used as a supplementary treatment of TDT to help rehabilitate acute/subacute dysphagic stroke patients by improving their swallowing coordination.
Kushner DS, Peters K, Eroglu ST, Perless-Carroll M, Johnson-Greene D.
Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Mar 8.
The aim of this study was to compare the efficacy of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) in addition to traditional dysphagia therapy (TDT) including progressive resistance training (PRT) with that of TDT/PRT alone during inpatient rehabilitation for treatment of feeding tube-dependent dysphagia in patients who have had an acute stroke.
This study is an inpatient rehabilitation case-control study involving 92 patients who have had an acute stroke with initial Functional Oral Intake Scale (FOIS) scores of 3 or lower and profound to severe feeding tube-dependent dysphagia. Sixty-five patients, the NMES group, received NMES with TDT/PRT, and 27 patients, the case-control group, received only TDT/PRT. Treatment occurred in hourly sessions daily for a mean ± SD of 18 ± 3 days. χ Analyses/t tests revealed no significant statistical differences between the groups for age (t = -0.85; P = 0.40), sex (χ = 0.05; P = 0.94), and stroke location (χ = 4.2; P = 0.24). A Mann-Whitney U test revealed a statistically significant difference between the groups for the initial FOIS score (z = -2.4; P = 0.015), with the NMES group having worse initial scores with a mean rank of 42.64 and the case-control TDT/PRT group having a mean rank of 55.8. The main outcome measure was the comparison of the FOIS scores after treatment.
The mean ± SD FOIS score after NMES with TDT/PRT treatment was 5.1 ± 1.8 compared with 3.3 ± 2.2 in the case-control TDT/PRT group. The mean gain for the NMES group was 4.4 points; and for the case-control group, 2.4 points. Significant improvement in swallowing performance was found for the NMES group compared with the TDT/PRT group (z = 3.64; P < 0.001). Within the NMES group, 46% (30 of 65) of the patients had minimal or no swallowing restrictions (FOIS score of 5-7) after treatment, whereas 26% (7 of 27) of those in the case-control group improved to FOIS scores of 5-7, a statistically significant difference (χ = 6.0; P = 0.01).
This study suggests that NMES with TDT/PRT is significantly more effective than TDT/PRT alone during inpatient rehabilitation in reducing feeding tube-dependent dysphagia in patients who have had an acute stroke.
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Heijnen BJ; Speyer R; Baijens LW; Bogaardt HC
Dysphagia; 27(3): 336-45, 2012 Sep
This study compares the effects of traditional logopedic dysphagia treatment with those of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) as adjunct to therapy on the quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease and oropharyngeal dysphagia. Eighty-eight patients were randomized over three treatment groups. Traditional logopedic dysphagia treatment and traditional logopedic dysphagia treatment combined with NMES at sensor or motor level stimulation were compared. At three times (pretreatment, post-treatment, and 3 months following treatment), two quality-of-life questionnaires (SWAL-QOL and MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory) and a single-item Dysphagia Severity Scale were scored. The Functional Oral Intake Scale was used to assess the dietary intake. After therapy, all groups showed significant improvement on the Dysphagia Severity Scale and restricted positive effects on quality of life. Minimal group differences were found. These effects remained unchanged 3 months following treatment. No significant correlations were found between dietary intake and quality of life. Logopedic dysphagia treatment results in a restricted increased quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease. In this randomized controlled trial, all groups showed significant therapy effects on the Dysphagia Severity Scale and restricted improvements on the SWAL-QOL and the MDADI. However, only slight nonsignificant differences between groups were found.
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