Impact of thermal stimulation on the triggering of the swallowing reflex
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This study was designed to quantify the effects of thermal sensitization on the oral and pharyngeal transit times of the swallow following sensitization in a group of 25 neurologically impaired patients exhibiting delayed triggering of the swallowing reflex. Thermal sensitization consists of applying cold (thermal) contact to the base of the anterior faucial arches in order to sensitize the area of the oral cavity where the reflex is triggered. Thermal sensitization improved triggering of the swallowing reflex in 23 of the 25 neurologically impaired patients on swallows of at least one food consistency. Results are discussed in relation to neurologic recovery and carryover of these effects.
Key wordsSwallowing reflex Tongue Oral stage Stimulation Pharyngeal stage
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