Delineating Physiologic Mechanisms of Swallowing Impairment and Decline in ALS


Individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis are at high risk for swallowing impairment (dysphagia) which leads to malnutrition, decreased pulmonary health, aspiration and aspiration pneumonia. These sequelae necessitate timely identification of at risk individuals to ensure optimal management of oral intake and pulmonary function. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the discriminant ability of several non-invasive screening tools at detecting swallowing impairment in individuals with ALS.

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  • Participants enrolled will have the following tests: Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Study (with swallowing analyses performed using the validated scales of DIGEST, Penetration Aspiration Scale, and Normalized Residue Ratio Scale) ; High Resolution Manometry, Voluntary Peak Cough Flow Testing, lingual strength and endurance trials using the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument, reflexive cough testing using a capsaicin challenge and Pulmonary Function Testing. 
  • In addition, the patient will complete the following surveys: Eating Assessment Tool-10 (EAT-10), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R), and The Center for Neurologic Study Bulbar Function Scale (CNS-BFS).

For more details about study procedures, please contact Kelby Magennis:


  • Diagnosis of probable or definite ALS
  • Diagnosis within 120 days

Additional inclusion and exclusion criteria apply. Please contact Kelby Magennis:


18 to 65
65 and over



Can be done from home



ALS, ALS - resources, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Neurology

Principal Investigator

Emily Plowman, PhD, CCC-SLP



Contact Information


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