Benefits of cough training for Parkinson’s disease

Cough helps remove material that cannot be adequately removed by normal physiological processes.

Researchers from the University of Florida, in Gainesville studied the value of expiratory muscle strength training in men with Parkinson’s disease.

First, the details.

  • 10 men with Parkinson disease and evidence of aspiration of material during swallowing.
  • They completed 4 weeks of expiratory muscle strength training.

And, the results.

  • There was a significant decrease in compression phase duration and expiratory phase rise time.
  • The decrease in expiratory phase rise time resulted in a significant increase in cough volume acceleration.
  • Significant decreases in the penetration/aspiration scores were found after this training in men with Parkinson’s disease.

The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “The results demonstrate that expiratory muscle strength training is a viable treatment modality for a population of participants with Parkinson’s disease at risk of aspiration.”

Rather than define all the technical terms mentioned in the results, a review of the physiology of cough, here, provides useful background.

And, a description of expiratory muscle strength training is here.

An updated search of the literature failed to reveal new research in this field.

6/12/09 20:24 JR; updated 10/31/10 22:47 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.