Electric brain stimulation improves swallowing dysfunction in stroke patients, study says

Share this article:

Electrical brain stimulation has been shown to help recent stroke patients who have difficulty with swallowing after a stroke, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center's Stroke Center.

Investigators evaluated 14 patients who had experienced a stroke between one and 10 days prior to trial enrolment, and who had been treated at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. The Duke scientists placed electrodes on the patients' scalps to mildly stimulate the brain, with the goal being to stimulate different areas of the brain. The stimulation helped 86% of the patients have an easier time swallowing, compared to 43% who did not experience an improvement.

"Post-stroke swallowing difficulty is an important problem. Up to half of stroke patients studied have dysfunctional swallowing, and up to a third of these patients aspirate, swallowing material that enters the windpipe rather than going into the stomach," said Dr. Larry B. Goldstein, director of the Duke Stroke Center. "This can cause pneumonia, which can prolong hospitalization, interfere with recovery or increase the chances of dying."

The study was published in the online version of the journal Stroke on March 24.

Share this article:

More in News

Expert says providers often wrongly threatened by PEPPER reports

Instead of fearing further scrutiny by federal authorities, providers should embrace the opportunity to get feedback in the form of PEPPER reports, legal experts said Monday at the LeadingAge annual meeting in Nashville.

Healthcare reform already driving diverse, dynamic long-term care models, LeadingAge leaders say

Healthcare reform already driving diverse, dynamic long-term care ...

One way to gauge the effects is healthcare reform is by looking at ongoing changes to the continuing care retirement community model, LeadingAge officials said Monday at the association's annual ...

Federal court: Nursing home can be sued for firing hairdresser who can ...

Is the ability to transport residents in their wheelchairs an essential function of a nursing home hairdresser? A federal appeals court says it's a valid question and is allowing a hairdresser to sue a facility that fired her.