Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Noninvasive brain stimulation may improve swallowing after stroke

Date:
March 25, 2011
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Noninvasive electrical stimulation to the brain may improve swallowing ability among stroke survivors, which may help avoid life-threatening complications, new research suggests.

Stroke patients who received electrical brain stimulation coupled with swallowing exercises showed greater improvement in swallowing ability than patients who did not receive this stimulation, according to a pilot study reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Difficulty swallowing, known as dysphagia, is a common and serious stroke complication. It can lead to aspiration, when food or foreign matter accidentally enters the lungs causing pneumonia. Aspiration and aspiration pneumonia are common complications after stroke and can be deadly.

The non-invasive brain stimulation used in this study (Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation, or tDCS) uses a weak electrical current. It is transmitted via electrodes placed on the scalp, to increase activity in targeted areas of the brain. Researchers noted:

  • Patients who received brain stimulation increased their ability to swallow by more than 2.5 points on a seven-point swallowing scale, compared to slightly more than one point among those who did not receive the treatment. This was statistically significant, so it was not likely due to chance.
  • Overall, swallowing ability improved by at least two points in 86 percent of patients receiving stimulation, and in 43 percent of those who did not. While these percentages showed a trend toward improvement, they did not reach statistical significance, likely due to the small study size.

"Further studies are warranted to refine this promising intervention by exploring effects of stimulation parameters, frequency of stimulation, and timing of the intervention in improving swallowing functions in dysphagic-stroke patients," researchers noted.

The study comprised 14 patients recruited from the inpatient stroke center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. All patients had suffered an ischemic stroke within the previous one to seven days. Participants were randomized so that some received tDCS to the brain regions that control swallowing while others received "sham stimulation." Those receiving sham stimulation were prepped as if they are going to receive tDCS but did not.

Authors are: Sandeep Kumar, M.D.; Cynthia W. Wagner, M.S., CCC-SLP; Colleen Frayne, M.S., CCC-SLP; Lin Zhu, B.S.; Magdy Selim, M.D., Ph.D.; Wuwei Feng, M.D., M.S.; and Gottfried Schlaug, M.D., Ph.D. The National Institutes of Health and the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sandeep Kumar, Cynthia W. Wagner, Colleen Frayne, Lin Zhu, Magdy Selim, Wuwei Feng, Gottfried Schlaug. Noninvasive Brain Stimulation May Improve Stroke-Related Dysphagia: A Pilot Study. Stroke, 2011; DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.602128

Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "Noninvasive brain stimulation may improve swallowing after stroke." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110324162233.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2011, March 25). Noninvasive brain stimulation may improve swallowing after stroke. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110324162233.htm
American Heart Association. "Noninvasive brain stimulation may improve swallowing after stroke." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110324162233.htm (accessed August 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Electrical Stimulation Boosts Brain Function, Study Says

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) Researchers found an improvement in memory and learning function in subjects who received electric pulses to their brains. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

Treadmill 'trips' May Reduce Falls for Elderly

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) Scientists are tripping the elderly on purpose in a Chicago lab in an effort to better prevent seniors from falling and injuring themselves in real life. (Aug.28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins