Research done by ASHA (American Speech-, Language and Hearing Association) shows that dysphagia is a very common condition having important medical as well as social impacts that drastically decrease a patient’s quality of life.
Rephagia: adjunctive surface electro myography (sEMG)
There is an accumulating body of research in which sEMG is used for rehabilitation of swallowing disorders. Biofeedback from sEMG has been widely described to be effective improving both oral and pharyngeal aspects of the swallow (Crary & Groher, 2000). The graph below illustrates the beneficial impact of sEMG on an oral intake for post-stroke survivors and oncology patients.
The graph below summarizes the impact of the proposed protocol in one of our test locations. A total of 94 patients underwent treatment. On average, the patients improved 3 steps on the 7-point FOIS score. Brain trauma and Wallenberg patients improved the most (3.5 and 3.6 steps, respectively) and patients with Parkinson’s disease showed more moderate improvement (2 steps).
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- Steele, C.M., Bennett, J.W., Chapman-Jay, S., Polacco, R.C., Molfenter, S.M., Oshalla, M. (2012). Electromyography as a Biofeedback Tool for Rehabilitating Swallowing Muscle Function. Applications of EMG in Clinical and Sports Medicine, ISBN 978953-307-798-7
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- Stepp, C.E., Britton, D., Chang, C., Merati, A.L., Matsuoka, Y. (2011). Feasibility of game-based electro- myographic biofeedback for dysphagia rehabilitation. Proceedings of the 5th International IEEE EMBS Conference on Neural Engineering, 978-1-4244-4141-9/11