Oral Communication

Submental sensitive transcutaneous electrical stimulation reverses virtual lesion of the oropharyngeal cortex.

Dr Emmanuelle CUGYa, Prof Anne-Marie LEROIb, Dr Julie KEROUAC-LAPLANTEc, Prof Patrick DEHAILc, Prof Pierre-Alain JOSEPHc, Prof Emmanuel GERARDINb, Prof Jean-Paul MARIEb, Prof Eric VERINb

a CH Arcachon, b CHU Rouen, c CHU Bordeaux

Objective. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of submental sensitive transcutaneous electrical stimulation (SSTES) on pharyngeal cortical representation after a virtual pharyngeal lesion in healthy subjects.

Methods. Motor evoked potentials of the mylohyoid muscles and videofluoroscopic parameters were measured before and after the creation of the virtual lesion, at the end of SSTES (T0), at 30 minutes (T30) and 60 minutes (T60).

Results. Nine subjects completed the study. After 20 minutes of SSTES, there was an increase of motor evoked potential amplitude at 0 and 30 min (p < 0.05). There was no significant modification of videofluoroscopic measurements. Regarding the cortical mapping after SSTES, there was an increase in the number of points with a cortical response in the dominant hemisphere but also in the non dominant hemisphere, effect which remained constant at 60 minutes (p < 0.05).

Discussion. SSTES is effective on cortical plasticity for the mylohyoid muscles and reverses pharyngeal cortical inhibition in healthy subjects. It could therefore be a simple non-invasive way to treat post stroke dysphagia.

Keywords : swallowing disorders, electric stimulation therapy, stroke, motor potential evoked, cineradiography