This blog post takes a look at expiratory muscle strength training (EMST) and its effects on improving the cough and swallow functions.
- Cough is important for airway clearance in patients with dysphagia who are at risk of penetration/aspiration, such as people with Parkinson’s disease.
- Aspiration can occur during swallowing, and can lead to pneumonia and death.
- Expiratory muscle training (EMT) improved cough volume acceleration and decreases in the penetration/aspiration score.
RMT effectively improves cough and swallowing function in people with dysphagia.
Measured parameters from an airflow waveform produced during voluntary cough, pre-EMST and post-EMST, included inspiratory phase duration, compression phase duration (CPD), expiratory phase peak flow (EPPF), expiratory phase rise time (EPRT), and cough volume acceleration (VA). The swallow outcome measure was the degree of P/A during the swallow task.
There was a significant decrease in the duration of the CPD and EPRT; the decrease in EPRT resulted in a significant increase in cough VA. Significant decrease in the P/A scores were found post training.
The results demonstrate that EMST is a viable treatment modality for a population of participants with PD at risk of aspiration.