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Publication Detail
Cranial nerve modulation of human cortical swallowing motor pathways
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Journal Article
  • Authors:
    Hamdy S, Aziz Q, Rothwell JC, Hobson A, Barlow J, Thompson DG
  • Publication date:
  • Journal:
    American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
    4 35-4
  • Status:
  • Print ISSN:
Animal data indicate that cortical swallowing pathways can be modulated by cranial nerve afferent stimulation. We therefore studied the effects of human trigeminal and vagal nerve excitation on the corticofugal pathways to the oropharynx and esophagus, using electromagnetic stimulation. Unilateral stimulation of either the trigeminal or vagus nerve evoked two distinct reflex electromyographic responses in the pharynx and esophagus, an early response (latency range 19-30 ms) and a late response (latency range 42-72 ms). In the mylohyoid muscles, however, only a single response was seen (latency range 36-64 ms). Cortical stimulation also evoked electromyographic responses in the mylohyoid muscles, pharynx, and esophagus, with latencies of 8.5 ± 0.3, 9.3 ± 0.3, and 10.1 ± 0.4 ms, respectively. When either trigeminal or vagus nerve stimulation preceded cortical stimulation, the cortically evoked responses were facilitated, with maximal effects at interstimulation intervals of 30-200 ms for pharynx and esophagus (P < 0.02) and at interstimulation intervals of 50-100 ms for mylohyoid muscles (P < 0.05). Our results demonstrate that stimulation of human cranial nerve afferent fibers facilitates cortical swallowing motor pathways.
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