, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 73–77 | Cite as

Animal Models for Dysphagia Studies: What Have We Learnt So Far

  • Rebecca Z. GermanEmail author
  • A. W. Crompton
  • Francois D. H. Gould
  • Allan J. Thexton


Research using animal models has contributed significantly to realizing the goal of understanding dysfunction and improving the care of patients who suffer from dysphagia. But why should other researchers and the clinicians who see patients day in and day out care about this work? Results from studies of animal models have the potential to change and grow how we think about dysphagia research and practice in general, well beyond applying specific results to human studies. Animal research provides two key contributions to our understanding of dysphagia. The first is a more complete characterization of the physiology of both normal and pathological swallow than is possible in human subjects. The second is suggesting of specific, physiological, targets for development and testing of treatment interventions to improve dysphagia outcomes.


Animal models Performance Pathophysiology Deglutition Deglutition disorders 



The work of the authors has been supported by multiple grants from the NIH over the last 40 years, including AR18140, DC3604, DC6953, DC9980, DE5526, DE 5738, DE7325, and HD8856. We dedicate this paper to our late colleague and mentor Dr. Karen Hiiemae.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and NeuroscienceNortheast Ohio Medical UniversityRootstownUSA
  2. 2.Museum of Comparative ZoologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Division of PhysiologyKing’s CollegeLondonUK

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