Dysphagia after stroke: research advances in treatment interventions

Bendix Labeit*, Emilia Michou, Michaela Trapl-Grundschober, Sonja Suntrup-Krueger, Paul Muhle, Philip M Bath, Rainer Dziewas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Review article


After a stroke, most patients have dysphagia, which can lead to aspiration pneumonia, malnutrition, and adverse functional outcomes. Protective interventions aimed at reducing these complications remain the cornerstone of treatment. Dietary adjustments and oral hygiene help mitigate the risk of aspiration pneumonia, and nutritional supplementation, including tube feeding, might be needed to prevent malnutrition. Rehabilitative interventions aim to enhance swallowing function, with different behavioural strategies showing promise in small studies. Investigations have explored the use of pharmaceutical agents such as capsaicin and other Transient-Receptor-Potential-Vanilloid-1 (TRPV-1) sensory receptor agonists, which alter sensory perception in the pharynx. Neurostimulation techniques, such as transcranial direct current stimulation, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, and pharyngeal electrical stimulation, might promote neuroplasticity within the sensorimotor swallowing network. Further advancements in the understanding of central and peripheral sensorimotor mechanisms in patients with dysphagia after a stroke, and during their recovery, will contribute to optimising treatment protocols.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-428
Number of pages11
JournalThe Lancet Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


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