Effects of Oropharyngeal Strengthening on Dysphagia in Patients Post-stroke "StrokeStrong"


Phase N/A Results N/A

Eligibility Criteria

Inclusion Criteria

1. clinical diagnosis of unilateral ischemic strokes by attending physician (according to the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS))
2. within 6 months of acute stroke diagnosis
3. a score of 3 or higher on the Penetration-Aspiration scale OR a score of 2 on the Residue scale at any location (oral cavity, valleculae, or pharynx) that is instrumentally documented by a participating SLP during a standardized videofluoroscopic swallowing study
4. between the ages of 21 and 95
5. ability to perform the strengthening protocol independently or with the assistance of a caregiver
6. physician approval of medical stability to participate
7. decision-making capacity to provide informed consent (confirmed through discussion with the subject's primary physician)
8. phone access
9. ability to return to the clinic for required follow-up appointments.

Exclusion Criteria

1. degenerative neuromuscular disease
2. prior or current diagnosis of bilateral or hemorrhagic stroke
3. prior surgery to the head and neck region that would affect muscles involved in swallowing
4. history of radiotherapy or chemotherapy to the head and neck
5. patient unable to complete the exercise program
6. taking medications that depress the central nervous system
7. allergy to barium (used in videofluoroscopic swallowing assessment)
8. currently pregnant.