Discover how viscosity increases swallowing safety at NeuroRehabiliation congress

Latest data on how increasing viscosity (‘thickness’) of liquids by a gum based thickener improves safety of swallow and airway protection during NeuroRehabilitation and Neural Repair congress.

Danone Nutricia Research will present the poster : Increasing viscosity improves safety of swallow and airway protection mechanisms in post-stroke oropharyngeal dysphagia, in collaboration with the team of Pere Clave during the NeuroRehabilitation and Neural Repair congress. Pere Clave (MD, PhD) is Associate Professor of Surgery at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Director of Academic Studies and R&D at the Hospital de Mataro, Catalonia Spain and President of the ESSD. The third edition of the NeuroRehabilitation and Neural Repair congress will be held from 22 to 24 May in Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Stroke may affect neuronal circuits involved in swallowing.1 This can lead to post-stroke oropharyngeal dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing) (PSOD). PSOD includes unsafe swallow and impaired swallowing kinematics (e.g. increased time to laryngeal vestibule closure).

This study investigated the effect of increasing fluid viscosity with a xanthan/guar gum-based thickener on safety and physiology of swallowing by evaluating six viscosities (150-2000 mPa.s) compared to unthickened (thin) liquid in PSOD patients. Results show that the percentage of patients with safe swallowing significantly increased at each viscosity compared to thin liquid. Time to laryngeal vestibule closure and total swallowing duration decreased at each viscosity compared to thin liquid.

Authors of the study conclude that the gum-based thickener increased the prevalence of safe swallowing in PSOD in a viscosity-dependent manner and caused a significant improvement in airway protection mechanisms. These results support the recommendation to use the gum-based thickener in PSOD management.

About the congress on NeuroRehabilitation and Neural Repair

NeuroRehabilitation and Neural Repair is an international congress that aims to bring together scientists and clinicians with a medical or an allied health professional background to participate in connecting neurorehabilitation and neuroscience. Click here  to read more.

Martino R., et al. Dysphagia After Stroke: Incident, Diagnosis, and Pulmonary Complications. AHA Journals 2005; 36: 2756-2763.