News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Canterbury researcher to investigate swallowing disorders

Canterbury researcher returns from Baltimore to investigate swallowing disorders

April 21, 2014

A researcher who is highly trained in dysphagia, or swallowing difficulties, has returned from Baltimore to the University of Canterbury to continue her laboratory investigations into facilitating the recovery of swallowing in New Zealand stroke patients.

Dr Phoebe Macrae spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University looking into issues related to swallowing problems.

She plans to combine the areas of study from her PhD and postdoctoral work and embark on an independent research career in Christchurch.

``I plan to achieve this goal through collaboration with my previous PhD mentor, Canterbury's Dr Maggie-Lee Huckabee. I am currently working to obtain funding applications to support my proposed research in the University of Canterbury Swallowing Rehabilitation Research Laboratory.

``I have applied for a Neurological Foundation of New Zealand Repatriation Fellowship and will submit an application to the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation at the end of this month.

``If these funding applications are successful, they will provide up to two years of salary support and research expenses for me to obtain robust preliminary data to support an application to larger funding sources in 2015-2016, such as the Rutherford Discovery Fellowship,’’ Dr Macrae says.

About 3000 New Zealanders are affected by dysphagia, or swallowing difficulties, from stroke alone each year. Swallowing impairment is the leading cause of aspiration pneumonia, which is the fourth leading cause of death in the elderly. This highlights the need for the development of effective rehabilitative techniques.

``Swallowing impairment is a symptom of many different disorders. It can impact the recovery of patients following events such as traumatic brain injury and stroke, and confound the progression of degenerative disorders such as Huntington's and Parkinson's disease.

``Around 6000 new cases of stroke are documented in New Zealand each year. Up to half of these patients may suffer from pneumonia due to their swallowing impairment. Canterbury District Health Board data suggests that the average cost for a single patient hospitalisation subsequent to stroke in 2011 was $13,067.

``The cost of hospitalisation inflates to $22,319 when aspiration pneumonia complicates the recovery of stroke. Therefore, the need to develop efficacious treatments for swallowing impairment is justified not only for maximising patient welfare, but also for minimising financial burden,’’ Dr Macrae says.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Review: Henry Rollins Burning Down The House

With his lantern jaw, close-cropped hair, and muscle-bound physique, Henry Rollins could not be further from the US Marine image his appearance might suggest. More>>

A Series Of Tubes: 150 Years Of The Cook Strait Cable

“It was a momentous achievement for its time. The successful connection came on the third attempt at laying the cable, and followed a near disaster when the first cable snapped - almost destroying the ship Weymouth in the process,” says Ms Adams. More>>

ALSO:

February 2017: Guns N' Roses - New Zealand Dates Announced

Founder Axl Rose and former members, Slash and Duff McKagan have regrouped for one of the century’s most anticipated tours... Rolling Stone said: "This was the real thing, the thing we'd all been waiting for: the triumphant return of one of the most important bands to cross rock music history. And it happened in our lifetime.” More>>

Werewolf: Brando, Peckinpah And Billy The Kid

Gordon Campbell: Initially, One-Eyed Jacks was supposed to have been directed by Stanley Kubrick from a script by Sam Peckinpah – yet it quickly became Brando’s baby... More>>

Book Awards: ANZAC Heroes Wins Margaret Mahy Book Of The Year

“Simply stunning, with gold-standard production values,” say the judges of the winner of this year’s Margaret Mahy Book of the Year Award in the prestigious New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. ANZAC Heroes is also the winner of the Elsie Locke Award for the Best Book in the Non-Fiction category. More>>

Baby Animals: Hamilton Zoo Rhino Calf Named

Hamilton Zoo’s latest rhino calf has been named Samburu and he's being celebrated with a unique zoo experience... Samburu arrived after his mother Kito’s 16-month pregnancy and the calf brings the number of white rhinos at Hamilton Zoo to six. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news