Role Of Cerebellum In Deglutition And Deglutition Disorders

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Gary McCullough Ph.D , Associate Dean (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:

Abstract: The objective of this review is to gather available evidence regarding the role of the cerebellum in swallowing- related functions. We reviewed literature on cerebellar func- tions related to healthy swallowing, patterns of dysphagia in individuals with cerebellar lesions, and the role of the cere- bellum in therapeutic intervention of neurogenic dysphagia since 1980. A collective understanding of these studies sug- gests that both hemispheres of the cerebellum, predominantly the left, participate in healthy swallowing. Also, it appears that the cerebellum contributes to specific physiological functions within the entire act of swallowing, but this is not clearly understood. The understanding of patterns of dysphagia in cerebellar lesions remains ambiguous with equivocal results across a small number of studies. The cerebellum appears to be involved in oral exercises for dysphagia in the relationship between oral movements in such exercises, and deglutition remains uncertain. There is increasing evidence to suggest successful use of transcranial magnetic stimulation of the cerebellum to improve neuromotor control of swallowing. Future studies should address activation of the cerebellum with swallowing of different consistencies and tastes in healthy adults to gain better insights. Studies should also investigate dynamics of neural activation during different stages of recovery from dysphagia following strokes to corti- cal centers to determine if the cerebellum plays a compensa- tory role during instances of increased neural demands.

Additional Information

Rangarathnam, B., Kamarunas, E., & McCullough, G.H. (2014). "Role Of Cerebellum In Deglutition And Deglutition Disorders." Cerebellum 13(6):767-76. [ISSN: 14734222] Version of record available at [DOI 10.1007/s12311-014-0584-1]
Language: English
Date: 2014
Cerebellum, Dysphagia, Deglutition, Compensation, Rehabilitation

Email this document to