Brain regions involved in swallowing: Evidence from stroke patients in a cross-sectional study

Shiva Ebrahimian Dehaghani, Fariba Yadegari, Ali Asgari, Ahmad Reza Chitsaz, Mehdi Karami


Background: Limited data available about the mechanisms of dysphagia and areas involving swallow after brain damage; accordingly it is hard to predict which cases are more likely to develop swallowing dysfunction based on the neuroimaging. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between brain lesions and dysphagia in a sample of acute conscious stroke patients. Materials and Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 113 acute conscious stroke patients (69 male mean [standard deviation (SD)]age 64.37 [15.1]), participated in this study. Two neurologists and one radiologist localized brain lesions according to neuroimaging of the patients. Swallowing functions were assessed clinically by an expert speech pathologist with the Mann Assessment of Swallowing Ability (MASA). The association of brain region and swallowing problem was statistically evaluated using Chi-square test. Results: Mean (SD) MASA score for the dysphagic patients was 139.61 (29.77). Swallowing problem was significantly more prevalent in the right primary sensory (P = 0.038), right insula (P = 0.004), and right internal capsule (0.038). Conclusion: It may be concluded from these findings that the right hemisphere lesions associated with occurring dysphagia. Further studies using more advanced diagnostic tools on big samples particularly in a perspective structure are needed.

Key words: Brain lesion, dysphagia, neuroimaging, stroke

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