What is it?
Neurogenic dysphagia is a disorder that appears within the context of a nervous system injury and which is characterised by a difficulty in the preparation of the food bolus in the mouth or in the movement of food from the mouth to the stomach with the risk that it passes into the airway.
The origin of the dysphagia is usually neurological, although it can also be mechanical or due to the patient using a tracheostomy cannula or taking certain drugs. Stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are the most common causes of dysphagia, although there are many others.
Who is it for?
This therapeutic programme for the treatment of dysphagia is aimed at patients suffering from neurogenic dysphagia with a video-fluoroscopic diagnosis of tracheal aspiration (the passage of alimentary content into the respiratory tract) that present some of these anomalies:
– Alteration in the retraction of the base of the tongue.
– Dysfunction of raising the soft palate.
– Reduced laryngeal ascent.
– Alteration in pharyngeal contraction.
– Dysfunction in the opening of the upper oesophageal sphincter.
Neuromuscular electrical stimulation techniques (NMES) on the floor of the mouth or pharynx allow certain muscle groups that are involved in the swallowing process to be enhanced, increasing laryngeal ascent and favouring glottic closure, or increasing sensory input in the nervous system central facilitating the swallowing response.
Type of intervention
- Clinical and functional assessment of swallowing
- Video-fluoroscopic exploration.
- Oesophageal manometry, only in the case of dysfunction in the opening of the oesophageal sphincter.
- The treatment consists of twenty 60-minute sessions, in which neuromuscular electrical stimulation is combined with therapeutic dysphagia exercises with the speech therapist.
- Video-fluoroscopy and final assessment of the treatment to verify the changes brought about in swallowing functioning, indicating the therapeutic routine to be followed.
The patient will be given a complete final report with the assessments, the treatment carried out and the final recommendations.