Our speech & swallowing therapists and researchers, Drs. Christine Sapienza, Michelle Troche, John Rosenbek and several others on their team continue to push forward their field of research and bring what they’ve learned into our clinic. This work benefits many of our patients especially those with Parkinson’s, parkinsonisms or dystonia that is affecting their respiratory ability. Here are two recent publications from that group:
Respiratory strength training: concept and intervention outcomes
Respiratory muscle strength training (RMST) focuses on increasing the force-generating capacity of the inspiratory and expiratory muscles. The choice of respiratory muscles that are targeted using RMST depends on the outcome desired. For example, if an individual has reduced inspiratory muscle strength due to a neurogenic injury and is unable to ventilate the lungs, then inspiratory muscle strength training may be the chosen rehabilitation target. On the other hand, if a professional voice user is complaining of difficulty generating adequate vocal loudness during song production and is suffering from laryngeal dysfunction, then an expiratory muscle strength training paradigm may be the chosen rehabilitation target. Our most recent work with RMST has focused on increasing expiratory muscle force generation for those with Parkinson’s disease who have difficulty with breathing, swallowing, and cough production. This difficulty typically worsens as the disease progresses. Highlights of these outcomes are summarized in this article.
Effect of Training Frequency on Maximum Expiratory Pressure.
The purpose of the current study was to determine the effects of expiratory muscle strength training ‘frequency’ on maximum expiratory pressure (MEP).
Twelve healthy participants were randomly assigned to two groups of training frequency (3 days per week and 5 days per week). They completed a four week training program on an EMST trainer (Aspire Products, LLC). Maximum expiratory pressure (MEP) was the primary outcome measure to determine the effect of training frequency.
Participants who trained at three days per week produced equivalent amounts of improvement in MEP as compared to participants who trained at five days per week training frequency. An overall improvement in MEP over the four week training period indicated a 33% increase when the data was collapsed across the two training groups.
The effects occurring with respiratory muscle strength training in healthy young adults are likely to be different from those occurring in patient populations. Therefore, the results of the present study suggest exploring the variable of ‘training frequency’ in patient populations. Such knowledge will be informative for designing clinical protocols that are effective and may result in improved treatment compliance for those suffering from expiratory muscle weakness.