Background: Dysphagia due to bulbar involvement is a major symptom of patients with spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA). The aim of this pilot study was to test the efficacy and safety of the head lift exercise for swallowing dysfunction in SBMA. Methods: We enrolled 6 subjects with genetically confirmed SBMA and instructed them to perform the head lift exercise for 6 weeks. The efficacy outcome measures were the changes from baseline in tongue pressure, the scores of swallowing functional questionnaires, and the motor functional scales and parameters of videofluorography (VF). Results: All subjects completed the study and no major adverse effects were recorded. Tongue pressure significantly increased by 19.2 ± 0.15% (p < 0.05) after the 6-week head lift exercise. The scores for oral dysphagia also improved, although there was no significant change in VF parameters or other variables examined pre- and post-exercise. Conclusion: Our findings suggested that the head lift exercise may improve swallowing dysfunction, particularly tongue pressure, in SBMA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology