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Authors Nicosia MA, Hind JA, Roecker EB, Carnes M, Doyle J, Dengel GA, Robbins J
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Journal J. Gerontol. A Biol. Sci. Med. Sci. Volume: 55 Issue: 11 Pages: M634-40
Publish Date 2000 Nov
PubMed ID 11078092

The tongue plays a key role in bolus propulsion through the oropharyngeal chamber. In this study, possible age effects on the magnitude and timing of lingual pressure generation were analyzed.Oral pressure was measured during isometric and swallowing tasks for 10 elderly (mean age = 81 years) and 10 young (mean age = 51 years) subjects. Three trials each of the isometric task and swallows of three different boluses (3 ml semisolid, 3 ml liquid, and 10 ml liquid) were performed by each subject. The timing and magnitude of isometric and swallowing pressure generation along with the pattern of the swallowing pressure waveform were analyzed.Whereas maximum lingual isometric pressures decreased with age (p < .001). no significant age difference was found for swallowing pressure. Time taken to reach peak pressure also was reduced with age in both the isometric task and swallows of liquid boluses (p < .05), while no significant age effect was found for semisolid swallows. Finally, only elderly subjects showed a pattern of liquid swallowing pressure generation in which multiple lingual gestures were required to reach peak pressure (termed “pressure building”), a pattern demonstrated by both young and elderly groups for semisolids.Decreased lingual strength with age combined with unchanging swallowing pressure leads to a decreased “pressure reserve,” perhaps leaving older individuals more at risk for dysphagia resulting from insults directly or indirectly to the swallowing system. Additionally, swallowing is generally “slowed” with age, apparently due to both central and peripheral factors, and this change may have an impact on bolus flow outcomes. Copyright © 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System