As members of the Swallowing Disorders Program we are actively engaged in research in pediatric dysphagia.
Eugene C. Goldfield, PhD, an Assistant Professor in psychology at Boston Children's, is spearheading a three-year project which involves the Feeding and Swallowing Program. This project, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), explores the dynamics of premature infant swallowing through the use of video fluoroscopy. Areas of investigation include differences in the timing or the mechanics of swallowing, based on viscosity changes -in other words, whether an infant safely swallows a thin liquid versus a thickened liquid. Premature infants often face lung disease and an increased risk of dysphasia; this research will help to promote safe swallowing in this at-risk population. Dr. Goldfield is also conducting an NIH-funded clinical trial of a new interventional device, called the active bottle, for improving feeding of infants with swallowing problems. The active bottle is a computer-controlled system for feeding infants with either thin or thickened liquid. Enrolled preterm infants or full term infants who have had open heart surgery will use the active bottle for some of their feedings to determine if their sucking, swallowing, and breathing problems improve over time.