Teresa Drulia, Ph.D. – Research


Dysphagia in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD): Role of Breathing and Swallowing Coordination

We aim to examine the mechanisms related to reduced breathing and swallowing coordination in individuals with COPD and how discoordination contributes to abnormal swallowing physiology. Incoordination between breathing and swallowing increases the risk of decreased airway protection, leading to aspiration, in this vulnerable population. Future investigative studies will target improving safe and effective swallowing in COPD individuals.

*Now Recruiting: COPD participants with swallowing difficulty

Sensorimotor Swallowing Changes in Aging and Disease

Changes in muscle function and sensory inputs occur with aging and in varying neurologic or respiratory diseases. This line of research targets identification of physiological changes in swallowing in presbyphagia or dysphagia to inform clinical practice evaluation and treatment methods.

Dosing and Efficacy of Swallowing Treatment

Evidence-based dysphagia practice is based on developing innovative, efficacious treatment that improves pathophysiology of the swallow resulting from injury or disease. LASR is committed to adding to the body of literature to advance clinical care and improve functional outcomes in individuals with dysphagia.

* Now Recruiting: Healthy participants between 60-89 years of age with no history of swallowing difficulty.


Dysphagia in the elderly

Do you or someone you know with COPD have trouble swallowing?

Difficulty swallowing symptoms may include:

  • Coughing when eating or drinking
  • Sensation of food getting stuck in your throat
  • Difficulty clearing food from your mouth when eating
  • Symptoms above may occur with chronic respiratory infection or pneumonia

Currently enrolling participants in a 10-week study investigating the effects of respiratory muscle strength training in COPD

  • Participants must be able to attend 5 visits in LASR at Texas Christian University.
  • Participants receive devices and up to $60 in gift cards

Healthy Participants

Are you interested in participating in research studies related to swallowing foods and liquids?  We are looking for individuals without a history of swallowing difficulty who are interested in participating in research.

For more information, contact:

Teresa Drulia, Ph.D.
Laboratory of Applied Swallowing Research (LASR)
Davies School of Communication Sciences and Disorders

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