Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Department

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Advisor(s)

Erin Kamarunas

Lindsay Griffin

Erin Clinard

Abstract

My honors project will document and reflect on my experiences as a member of a research team that is studying transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) as a treatment for dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, which affects a vast, diverse group of individuals. There is substantial need for more efficient and effective rehabilitation strategies used to restore abilities and reduce the risks associated with dysphagia. Recent studies have addressed these risks by exploring tDCS as a treatment for central nervous system damage caused by stroke, traumatic brain injury, and Parkinson's disease. Research has recently been conducted to test its effectiveness, but has proven variable, as a range of methods have been utilized when administering the stimulation. The research team’s specific aim was to first establish an effective amplitude criterion for tDCS by documenting its effect on cortical blood flow, muscle contraction during an effortful swallow, and a participant’s perception of discomfort. This goal is useful to the field because an optimal tDCS paradigm would allow professionals to be one step closer to being able to use this tool to help individuals with dysphagia achieve a healthier swallow. My honors project is a reflection piece based on my experience and acquired knowledge from the larger study. An observation protocol was employed to facilitate reflections and observations about empirical research in the field of communication sciences and disorders for assist with this reflection.

Available for download on Tuesday, April 07, 2020

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