A Device for Treating Swallowing Problems (dysphagia) After Stroke

Swallowing problems after stroke are common, with over 40,000 patients annually in the UK suffering from dysphagia and its attendant consequences of aspiration pneumonia and malnutrition. This leads to longer hospital stays, increased demands on feeding resources, higher admissions to nursing homes and poorer survival costing the NHS an estimated £200 million per year. Based on the observation that many patients demonstrate gradual recovery of swallowing function over time in the absence of therapeutic intervention, researchers at the University of Manchester investigated the natural recovery process to find a mechanism to enhance or accelerate it. They found that the application of controlled electrical stimulation of the pharyngeal region of affected patients could demonstrably accelerate the cortical reorganisation process and improve clinical outcomes. THE TECHNOLOGY The group have developed an intra-pharyngeal electrical stimulation device to treat patients with dysphagia. The stimulation is applied from a portable electronic generator via electrodes mounted in a swallowed catheter allowing the device to combine the benefits of rehabilitation with safe nutrient delivery. Improvement in neurological activity KEY BENEFITS
• Significant improvement in swallowing function and potentially survival across a range of patient types and clinical presentations and using a range of different assessment criteria
• Produces demonstrable neurological improvement in a short space of time
• Proven reduction in the length of hospitalisation
• Combination of feeding tube and rehabilitation tool into a single device
• Suitable for very early clinical intervention
• Short and simple treatment regimen
• Can be used by a trained nurse APPLICATIONS Rapid, effective acute phase treatment of stroke patients presenting with dysphagia. PATENT STATUS Patents in all major markets COLLABORATION OPPORTUNITY Collaborative development with Medical Equipment manufacturer. Licence to advanced product concept.

Type of Offer: Licensing

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