Nevin Manimala Statistics

Neuromuscular adaptations of swallowing and speech in Unilateral Cerebral Palsy: shared and distinctive traits

J Neurophysiol. 2023 Oct 25. doi: 10.1152/jn.00502.2022. Online ahead of print.


Our aims were to a) examine the neuromuscular control of swallowing and speech in children with unilateral Cerebral Palsy (UCP) compared to typically developing children (TDC), b) determine shared and separate neuromuscular underpinnings of the two functions, and c) explore the relationship between this control and behavioral outcomes in UCP. Surface electromyography (sEMG) was used to record muscle activity from the submental and superior and inferior orbicularis oris muscles during standardized swallowing and speech tasks. Variables examined were normalized mean amplitude, time to peak amplitude, and bilateral synchrony. Swallowing and speech were evaluated using standard clinical measures. Sixteen children with UCP and 16 TDC participated (7-12 yoa). Children with UCP demonstrated higher normalized amplitude and longer time to peak amplitude across tasks than TDC (p< .01); and p< .02) and decreased bilateral synchrony than TDC for swallows (p< .01). Both shared and distinctive neuromuscular patterns were observed between swallowing and speech. In UCP, higher upper lip amplitude during swallows was associated with shorter normalized mealtime durations, while higher submental bilateral synchrony was related to longer mealtime durations. Children with UCP demonstrate neuromuscular adaptations for swallowing and speech, which should be further evaluated for potential treatment targets. Further, both shared and distinctive neuromuscular underpinnings between the two functions are documented.

PMID:37877193 | DOI:10.1152/jn.00502.2022

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