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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Laboratory for the Study of Upper Airway Dysfunction

Active Research Projects

 

 

Clinical Research Neurorehabilitation Initiative

Free clinical research screenings assessing speech, swallowing, cough, cognitive, and linguistic function will be provided to individuals with a history of neurological disease. The clinical screening will take place in our lab for approximately 1 hour.  Following the screening, participants will be offered the opportunity to participate in one of our research protocols or receive expert clinical care.

To participate, individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a history of neurological disease (i.e. PD, PSP, CVA, CBS, MSA, etc)
  • Be between 20 and 85 years of age

Airway Protective Rehabilitation Clinical Trial

This clinical trial will compare the effects of an established and efficacious rehabilitation paradigm (expiratory muscle strength training (EMST)) with a novel sensorimotor cough therapy (smTAP). EMST has proven to reduce the risk of penetration/aspiration and improve cough effectiveness in PD.  smTAP targets the behavioral up-regulation of reflex cough effectiveness within the context of salient cough-inducing stimuli. This study will require 7 visits to our lab and completion of daily exercises.

To participate, individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a diagnosis of PD
  • Be between the ages of 50 and 85 years
  • Not have a history of smoking in the last 5 years
  • Not have a history of respiratory disease (i.e. asthma, COPD)
  • Not be actively receiving swallowing therapy

SpeechVive

The SpeechVive is a small device that fits behind the ear like a hearing aid. The device plays background noise while the participant speaks and capitalizes on the Lombard effect. Use of the device has proven efficacious to significantly improve loudness and rate disturbance in Parkinson’s disease (PD). For this study, we will evaluate the effects SpeechVive therapy delivered via telemedicine.  Participants will present to our research laboratory for baseline and post study visits.  Participants will check-in with clinical research staff weekly for teletherapy.

To participate, individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a diagnosis of idiopathic PD (no other neurodegenerative disease)
  • Exhibit problems with speech loudness due to PD
  • Fluent speaker of English
  • No head, neck, or chest surgery (except mastectomy or implant/ablation surgery for PD)
  • No bilateral hearing aid usage

Cough Screening

This research protocol evaluates the utility of a hand-held nebulizer for detecting cough and swallowing dysfunction in people with PD. The study will only require 1 visit to our lab.

To participate, individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a diagnosis of PD
  • Be between the ages of 50 and 85 years
  • Not have a history of smoking in the last 5 years
  • Not have a history of respiratory disease (i.e. asthma, COPD)