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The Effects of Non-Invasive Ventilation Treatment on Airway Clearance and Swallowing in Individuals with ALS

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  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a motor neuron disease characterized by the degeneration of both upper and lower motor neurons. These impairments cause functional limitations in many motor systems, including those supporting respiration and swallowing. As ALS progresses, specific treatments exist to minimize the symptoms of respiratory insufficiency. One of these treatments, non-invasive ventilation (NIV), is currently used as a respiratory therapy, as it decreases the rate of decline of an individual's forced vital capacity (FVC). However, its effect on specific respiratory abilities (airway clearance) and swallowing has not been studied systematically. In this 900 project, we analyzed data from a larger study in which the following research question was posed: what is the effect on airway clearance and swallowing in individuals with ALS after NIV treatment? Using a single-subject pre-post design, researchers measured forced vital capacity (FVC), sniff nasal pressure (SnP) and peak cough flow (PCF) of three individuals with ALS before and after NIV treatment. Results indicated a positive treatment effect, which provides a foundation for further research on this topic.

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    Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 International