Lifewatch: Eating after a stroke

Reported by Claire Hosmann - email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

(WECT) - There is a new device designed to helped those who lose the basic function of swallowing after a stroke.

Sitting down for a meal turned into a chore for 84-year-old Joseph Grant after his stroke.  His throat muscles were weak and the former Monk, magician, and dentist was miserable.

Joseph turned to therapists who introduced him to a new device that would do the swallowing work for him.  It sends electrical currents to the throat muscles.

Combined with an exercise routine, the device returns them to their former strength.

Speech pathologist Lisa Mathers worked with Joseph for about an hour, five days a week.  After a month, the results are usually much better than traditional therapy.

The vital-stim device works best on patients with neurological problems from a stroke, Parkinson's, or multiple sclerosis.