The Use of Neuroplastic Principles Affects the Swallow Motor Plan of a Patient in Severe Cognitive Decline: A Case Study Dysphagia is common in patients with dementia. Dysphagia occurs as a result of changes in the sensory and motor function of the swallow (Easterling, 2007). It is known that the central nervous system can undergo experience-dependent plasticity, even in those individuals with dementia (Park & Bischof, 2013). The purpose of ... Article
Article  |   October 26, 2016
The Use of Neuroplastic Principles Affects the Swallow Motor Plan of a Patient in Severe Cognitive Decline: A Case Study
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ed Bice
    Accelerated Care Plus, Reno, NV
  • Kristine E. Galek
    Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, Reno, NV
  • Disclosures
    Disclosures ×
  • Financial: Ed Bice is an employee of Accelerated Care Plus the distributor of Synchrony sEMG, which is referenced in this paper. Kristine E. Galek is a consultant for Accelerated Care Plus and is an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.
    Financial: Ed Bice is an employee of Accelerated Care Plus the distributor of Synchrony sEMG, which is referenced in this paper. Kristine E. Galek is a consultant for Accelerated Care Plus and is an assistant professor at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine.×
  • Nonfinancial: Ed Bice and Kristine E. Galek have no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.
    Nonfinancial: Ed Bice and Kristine E. Galek have no relevant nonfinancial interests to disclose.×
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Part 2
Article   |   October 26, 2016
The Use of Neuroplastic Principles Affects the Swallow Motor Plan of a Patient in Severe Cognitive Decline: A Case Study
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, October 2016, Vol. 1, 79-83. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG15.79
History: Received April 27, 2016 , Revised May 27, 2016 , Accepted June 10, 2016
Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, October 2016, Vol. 1, 79-83. doi:10.1044/persp1.SIG15.79
History: Received April 27, 2016; Revised May 27, 2016; Accepted June 10, 2016

Dysphagia is common in patients with dementia. Dysphagia occurs as a result of changes in the sensory and motor function of the swallow (Easterling, 2007). It is known that the central nervous system can undergo experience-dependent plasticity, even in those individuals with dementia (Park & Bischof, 2013). The purpose of this study was to explore whether or not the use of neuroplastic principles would improve the swallow motor plan and produce positive outcomes of a patient in severe cognitive decline. The disordered swallow motor plan was manipulated by focusing on a neuroplastic principles of frequency (repetition), velocity of movement (speed of presentation), reversibility (Use it or Lose it), specificity and adaptation, intensity (bolus size), and salience (Crary & Carnaby-Mann, 2008). After five therapeutic sessions, the patient progressed from holding solids in her mouth with decreased swallow initiation to independently consuming a regular diet with full range of liquids with no oral retention and no verbal cues.

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