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New study aims to tackle stroke swallowing problems

New study aims to tackle stroke swallowing problems
5th February 2015

Researchers are trialling a new treatment that could help people experiencing swallowing problems following a stroke.

These difficulties, known as dysphagia, affect up to half of those with acute stroke. The consequences of the condition can be fatal.

A treatment known as transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) can help stimulate brain activity in the part of the motor cortex area that governs swallowing.

Applying this treatment to the side of the brain unaffected by stroke could encourage swallowing areas in that part of the brain to compensate for the loss from the damaged side.

The treatment, which is quick and easy to carry out, delivers weak electrical currents through conducting pads precisely positioned on the scalp to target the right area.

Professor Shaheen Hamdy at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, who is leading the study, said: "Our previous research on tDCS has suggested it could offer a safe and effective treatment and our latest dose response study will help us to establish the best way of using this treatment."

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