Advances in the treatment of dysphagia in neurological disorders: A review of current evidence and future considerations

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Dysphagia, which refers to difficult and/or disordered swallowing, is a common problem associated with various neurological diseases such as stroke, motor neuron diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. Traditionally, dysphagia treatments are either compensatory, which includes modifications of bolus texture or feeding posture, or rehabilitative, which includes behavioral exercises and sensory stimulation. Despite being widely adopted in clinical practice, recent views have challenged the clinical efficacy of these treatments due to the low level of evidence supported by mainly non-controlled studies. As such, with advancements in technology and scientific research methods, recent times have seen a surge in the development of novel dysphagia treatments and an increasing number of robust randomized controlled clinical trials. In this review, we will review the clinical evidence of several newly introduced treatments for dysphagia in the last two decades, including rehabilitative exercises, biofeedback, pharmacological treatments, neuromodulation treatments and soft robotics. Despite the recent improvements in the quality of evidence for the efficacy of dysphagia treatments, several critical issues, including heterogeneity in treatment regimens, long-term treatment effects, underlying mechanisms of some neuromodulation treatments, and the effects of these techniques in non-stroke dysphagia, remain to be addressed in future clinical trials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2251—2263
JournalNeuropsychiatric disease and treatment
Publication statusPublished - 14 Oct 2022


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