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01.12.2018 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders 1/2018

The effect of transcutaneous neuromuscular electrical stimulation on laryngeal vestibule closure timing in swallowing

Zeitschrift:
BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2018
Autoren:
Christopher R. Watts, Matthew J. Dumican

Abstract

Background

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of transcutaneous neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on the timing of laryngeal vestibule closure during the pharyngeal stage of swallowing in healthy adults. The theoretical framework proposed that NMES applied to these muscles would present a perturbation to laryngeal vestibular closure reaction time (the amount of time for the laryngeal vestibule to close once the swallowing reflex has been triggered) by providing an antagonistic force to the direction of vestibule closure.

Methods

Nine healthy adults (2 males, 7 females) received ten consecutive stimulations applied to the submandibular hyolaryngeal muscles while performing dry swallows. Laryngeal vestibule closure reaction time (LVCrt) and the laryngeal vestibule closure duration (LVCd) were measured from videoflouroscopic images pre-stimulation and post-stimulation.

Results

Results indicated a significant effect of stimulation on LVCrt but not LVCd. LVCrt was significantly reduced (timing was faster) during swallows immediately after stimulation compared to pre-stimulation.

Conclusions

Findings from this study support the supposition that laryngeal muscles respond to perturbations via adaptation learning, which might be used for rehabilitation of neuromuscular swallowing impairment. This pilot study supports the need for further research.
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