Dysphagia

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 254–260

Oropharyngeal Stimulation with Air-Pulse Trains Increases Swallowing Frequency in Healthy Adults

  • Julie A. Theurer
  • Frank Bihari
  • Amy M. Barr
  • Ruth E. Martin
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00455-005-0021-1

Cite this article as:
Theurer, J.A., Bihari, F., Barr, A.M. et al. Dysphagia (2005) 20: 254. doi:10.1007/s00455-005-0021-1

Abstract

This study sought to determine whether air-pulse trains delivered to the peritonsillar area would facilitate swallowing in healthy subjects. Trains of unilateral or bilateral air pulses were delivered to the peritonsillar area via tubing embedded in a dental splint, while swallows were simultaneously identified from their associated laryngeal and respiratory movements. Results from four subjects indicated that oropharyngeal air-pulse stimulation evoked an irrepressible urge to swallow, followed by an overt swallow as verified by laryngeal and respiratory movements. Moreover, air-pulse stimulation was associated with a significant increase in swallowing frequency. Mean latency of swallowing following bilateral stimulation tended to be less than the latency of swallowing following unilateral stimulation. These findings in healthy adults suggest the possibility that oropharyngeal air-pulse stimulation may have clinical utility in dysphagic individuals.

Keywords

Swallowing Oropharynx Sensory stimulation Dysphagia Vagus Glossopharyngeal Deglutition Deglutition disorders 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie A. Theurer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Frank Bihari
    • 3
  • Amy M. Barr
    • 2
  • Ruth E. Martin
    • 2
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Doctoral Program in Rehabilitation SciencesUniversity of Western OntarioLondon
  2. 2.School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Western OntarioLondon
  3. 3.Clinical Neurological Sciences, EEG DepartmentLondon Health Sciences CentreLondon
  4. 4.Department of Physiology and PharmacologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  5. 5.Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada