Archive for category: Collaborations

Dysphagia is a symptom, not a disease. Patients reporting the symptom of dysphagia may lack objective evidence of swallowing dysfunction. In order to accurately quantify the symptom of dysphagia, UC Davis CVS researchers have developed and validated a 10-item self administered survey instrument entitled the Eating Assessment Tool or EAT-10 (Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2008 Dec;117(12):919-24.).

The EAT-10 allows clinicians and scientists to document the degree of patient-reported swallowing-related disability as well as monitor dysphagia treatment efficacy. Normative data suggests that an EAT-10 ≥ 2 is abnormal. The instrument is becoming one of the most commonly used clinical research tools globally for persons with swallowing difficulty and is the primary outcome measure for dozens of investigations and clinical trials. The EAT-10 has been translated into numerous languages, including Japanese, Spanish, Anatolian Turkish, Italian, Chinese, and Portuguese.

Development of a pediatric version of the EAT-10 as well as a version to quantify the degree of swallowing difficulty for dogs and cats is currently underway.

Dysphagia is common and costly. Complications of swallowing dysfunction include dehydration, malnutrition depression, social isolation, pneumonia, pulmonary abscess, and death. For patients with profound disease,treatment options are limited. The UC Davis Center for Voice and Swallowing (CVS) is pushing the boundary of research and patient care.

CVS clinicians have established close collaborations with the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine, the UCD Institute for Regenerative Cures, The National Primate Center, The National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders, and the UCD Center for Health and the Environment. These collaborations have resulted in millions of dollars in grant funding, 4 patents, 2 startup companies, dozens of publications, 4 first in human and 5 first in canine surgeries. Our mission is to continue to advance the care of patients with disabling disorders of voice, swallowing, and breathing.

Bean and Dr. Kuhn
Bean is a special pit bull who loves life. The two-year old Staffordshire Terrier began having symptoms of choking and pneumonia early in life. This led to a diagnosis of muscular dystrophy and profound swallowing dysfunction. In an effort to save her life, Drs. Belafsky and Kuhn performed the world’s first laryngectomy in a canine with dysphagia.

Bean has been living with her stoma for 6 months and is doing great. She loves playing soccer with her family and wags her tail so hard she falls down. Bean attends human laryngectomy support groups as a service dog and has been an inspiration to us all.

Follow Bean’s adventure on Facebook