Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a device to help people with Parkinson’s disease keep the ability to swallow.

The device strengthens the muscles, which become progressively weaker and uncoordinated in Parkinson’s patients, using expiratory muscle strength training.

In a clinical study, a third of patients using the device showed an improvement in their ability to swallow.

The device works on the concept of overload, where the patient has to generate enough lung pressure to open a calibrated pressure release valve. Doing so helps to make the muscles stronger.