Document Type : Original Article


1 Clinical Neurology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran Department of Neurology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Neuroscience, School of Advanced Medical Sciences and Technologies, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Hematology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Swallowing is one of the most complex functions of the central nervous system (CNS), which is controlled by different parts of the brain. Oropharyngeal dysphagia (OD) is one of the most common complications after stroke. Despite a variety of behavioral, compensatory, and rehabilitative methods, many stroke patients still suffer from swallowing disorders that adversely affect their quality of life (QOL). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of pyridostigmine on patients with post-stroke dysphagia.
Methods: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was carried out on 40 patients suffering from post-stroke dysphagia. Patients were assigned randomly into two groups: intervention and control groups (20 in each group). The intervention group was treated with pyridostigmine (60 mg, three times a day, 30 minutes before each meal for three weeks), and the control group received placebo treatment in the same way. All patients (intervention and control) were evaluated according to National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), modified Rankin Scale (mRS), and Functional Communication Measures (FCM)/American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) criteria at baseline and after three weeks of intervention. Values of P < 0.05 were considered statistically significant.
Results: In the intervention group, the mean values of NIHSS, mRS, and ASHA/FCM were significantly reduced following three weeks of treatment with pyridostigmine (P = 0.002, P = 0.003, and P < 0.001, respectively), but no significant differences were found in the mean NIHSS, mRS, and ASHA/FCM in the placebo group.
Conclusion: Although pyridogestamine is somewhat effective in post-stroke dysphagia, it has not been shown to be more important in preventing aspiration pneumonia and length of hospital stay.


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