Could Exercise Help ALS Patients With Swallowing?

In this video from American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Speech Language Pathologist Emily Plowman talks about whether exercise can help amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients strengthen the muscles needed to swallow.

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Plowman talks about her role in a clinical trial and how previous studies have found exercise to be useful in other patient populations such as those with Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, whereas exercise as therapy for the ALS patient population has historically been frowned upon.

The initial trial featured two groups of ALS patients—one underwent expiratory muscle training and the other did not. After eight weeks of treatment, both sets of patients would be evaluated to see if exercising these muscles improved swallowing function.

Plowman is still conducting a clinical trial in this area and is looking for participants.

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