Rethinking Rehab – retraining swallowing disorders after acquired brain injury
Left to right: Alison Aries, Professor Maggie-Lee Huckabee and Dr Sue Hunter
Professor Maggie-Lee Huckabee from University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, was welcomed recently to the School of Health and Rehabilitation by Dr Sue Hunter and Alison Aries to discuss research and therapy for swallowing disorders (dysphagia) after acquired brain injury.
Around 45 Speech and Language Therapists (UHNM) from across the West Midlands joined them for a seminar in the afternoon on the topic ‘Rethinking rehab: the capacity for cortical modulation of pharyngeal swallowing’. This seminar addressed the capacity for cortical modulation of pharyngeal swallowing using skill-based rehabilitation approaches, based on the principles of behavioural neuroplasticity, with an emphasis on task specificity, intensity, repetition and knowledge of results.
A collaborative study involving orofacial stimulation to retrain swallowing is being planned along with SALTs from UHNM building on the research being done at Keele by Sue and Alison around the use of somatosensory stimulation to enhance recovery of movement post-stroke.