See more clearly for their treatment

See more clearly for their treatment

Swallowing disorders are not simple: the possible consequences are malnutrition, weight loss and dehydration. Thanks to German and American researchers, we know more about the process involved.

Swallowing disorders: the primary role of the vagus nerve

According to their work published in the journal “nervous“, It seems that this is the problem , This makes it difficult for some people to swallow food and/or liquids, and is caused by a malfunction of the vagus nerve, which ensures communication between the brain and many organs of the body.

In fact, it is the sensory cells of the vagus nerve that detect and locate food in the esophagus and whose signals help transport the food to the stomach. In the case of swallowing disorders, researchers describe how sensory cells in the vagus nerve respond to mechanical stimuli in the esophagus and trigger involuntary muscle movements, a process known as esophageal peristalsis.

To reach this conclusion, Dr. Teresa Lever, of the University of Missouri College of Medicine in Columbia (USA), developed a method that allowed researchers to observe swallowing in real time in unanesthetized, freely behaving rats.

Swallowing disorder: towards a better treatment?

After turning off the sensory neurons invagal nodes” – a “nodeOf the nerve bodies in the nervous system, which enable swallowing, scientists have found that mice haveThey lost the ability to reflexively perform the appropriate muscular movements that move food into the stomach, and they quickly lost weightexplains lead author, Dr. Elijah Lowenstein.

Therefore, in the absence of these cells in the vagus nerve, food gets stuck in the esophagus. In some mice, food also rose to the throat.

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Our work can now help develop better treatments for swallowing disorders. One option is to pharmacologically activate the mechanoreceptors we have identifiedexplains Professor Carmen Birchmeier, who heads the Laboratory for Developmental Biology and Signal Transmission at the Max Delbrück Center in Berlin.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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