What is the role of rehabilitation therapies in the treatment of basilar artery thrombosis?

Updated: Jan 11, 2019
  • Author: Salvador Cruz-Flores, MD, MPH, FAHA, FCCM, FAAN, FACP, FANA; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

Patients with brainstem, cerebellar, diencephalic, or occipital infarcts secondary to basilar artery occlusion have a significant degree of disability because of weakness, ataxia, swallowing difficulties, or other cranial neuropathies or due to a combination of these.

Patients with dysphagia are at significant risk for aspiration and pneumonia. Evaluation of these patients should be thorough and should include videofluoroscopy with modified barium swallow to assess for silent aspiration. Interventions for prevention of aspiration include compensatory strategies such as oromotor exercises, postural changes while swallowing, and facilitative strategies (including modification of bolus consistency, volume, and delivery).

Patients also need training on balance and gait. Using a patch on 1 eye or prisms can help diplopia.


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