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The Use of Brain Stimulation in Dysphagia Management

AbstractDysphagia is common sequela of brain injury with as many as 50% of patients suffering from dysphagia following stroke. Currently, the majority of guidelines for clinical practice in the management of dysphagia focus on the prevention of complications while any natural recovery takes place. Recently, however, non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques like transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) have started to attract attention and are applied to investigate both the physiology of swallowing and influences on dysphagia. TMS allows for painless stimulation of the brain through an intact skull —an effect which would normally be impossible with electrical currents due to the high resistance of the skull. By comparison, tDCS involves passing a small electric current (usually under 2 mA) produced by a current generator over the scalp and cranium external to the brain. Initial studies used these techniques to better understand the physiological mechanisms of swallowing in healthy subjects. More recently, a number of studies have investigated the efficacy of these techniques in the management of neurogenic dysphagia with mixed results. Controversy still exists as to which site, streng th and duration of stimulation yields the greatest improvement in dysphagia. And while multiple studies have suggested promising effects of NIBS, more randomised control trials with larger sample sizes are needed to investigate...
Source: Dysphagia - Category: Speech Therapy Source Type: research

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