Authors: Farpour S, Asadi-Shekaari M, Borhani Haghighi A, Farpour HR
Title: Improving Swallowing Function and Ability in Post Stroke Dysphagia: A Randomized Clinical Trial
Source: Dysphagia 2023 38(1): 330-339
Year: 2023
Research Design: Randomised Controlled Trial
Rating Score: 08/10
This rating is confirmed
Eligibility specified - Yes
Random allocation - Yes
Concealed allocation - Yes
Baseline comparability - Yes
Blind subjects - Yes
Blind therapists - No
Blind assessors - Yes
Adequate follow-up - Yes
Intention-to-treat analysis - No
Between-group comparisons - Yes
Point estimates and variability - Yes

Post-stroke dysphagia is a prevalent, life threatening condition. Scientists recommended implementing behavioral therapies with new technologies such as transcranial direct current of stimulation (TDCS). Studies showed promising TDCS effects, and scientists suggested the investigation of the effectiveness of different montages. Supramarginal gyrus (SMG) is important in swallowing function. Our study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of stimulating SMG in improving post-stroke dysphagia. Forty-four patients finished the study (a randomized, double-blind one). All of them received behavioral therapy. The real group received anodal (2 mA, 20 min) stimulation on the intact SMG, and the sham group received the same for 30 s (5 sessions). Patients were assessed with Functional Oral Intake Scale (FOIS) and Mann Assessment of Swallowing Ability (MASA) after treatment and at one-month follow-up. The results showed that the difference between groups at baseline was not significant. According to MASA both groups improved significantly during the time (p-value < 0.001). The improvement in the real group was significantly higher than in the sham group after treatment (p-value = 0.002) and after one-month follow-up (p-value < 0.001). According to FOIS, most of the patients in the real group (72.70%) reached level 6 or 7 after one-month follow-up which was significantly higher than the sham group (31.80%, p-value = 0.007). In conclusion, TDCS applied to the scalp's surface associated with SMG localization may improve swallowing function in the stroke patients with dysphagia.

Access: Open Access