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Oral Motor and Laryngeal Exercises and Pharyngeal Transit Time
Department: Communication Sciences
Specimen Elements
Unknown to Unknown
Michele Vandehey
Idaho State University
City: Pocatello
Abstract Many people can experience difficulty with swallowing that may result in a decreased quality of life and could ultimately cost them their lives. Dysphagia can occur due to many different neurological diseases or conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's Disease, and traumatic brain injury. However, dysphagia occurs most commonly post-cerebral vascular accident (CVA), also known as a stroke. The present study examined the effects of an oral-motor exercise program on oropharyngeal transit time and oral muscle strength to determine whether such exercises were effective at improving swallowing function. Three participants (Participant 1, 67 year old male; Participant 2, 65 year old male; Participant 3, 90 year old female) residing within a nursing care facility and who had been previously identified as having oropharyngeal dysphagia were assessed using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment screener to determine individual ability to follow directions. All participants exhibited mild cognitive involvement, commensurate with age and physical condition. Participants were given a bedside evaluation that included use of EMG to measure oropharyngeal transit time, as well as use of the Iowa Oral Pressure Instrument (IOPI) to measure lingual strength, as well as swallow pressure and swallow reserve. Labial strength and sustained /s/ were used as control measures. This study was a replication of that performed by Dykman (2010). Participants were placed into an 8 week training period following baseline measures. Treatment included performing the Shaker Head Lift maneuver and the Effortful Swallow, with measurements taken weekly. Participants 1 and 2 completed the study, while Participant 3 terminated the study after the first week. Both participants showed improvements in oropharyngeal transit time, but neither lingual pressure nor swallow pressure changed consistently as a result of the treatment. This study supported the findings of Dykman’s (2010) study in which a single individual who had suffered cerebrovascular accident with subsequent dysphagia showed clear improvement in oropharyngeal transit time

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