Tongue control for swallowing in Parkinson’s disease: effects of age, rate, and stimulus consistency.

Mov Disord. 2011 Aug 1;26(9):1725-9. doi: 10.1002/mds.23690. Epub 2011 May 3.

Source

Department of Speech-Language Pathology, University of Toronto, and Toronto Western Hospital Research Institute, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. p.vanlieshout@utoronto.ca

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patients with Parkinson’s disease often suffer from swallowing problems, especially at more advanced stages of the disease. Efficient swallows require well-coordinated tongue movements during bolus flow, but little is known about such movements in Parkinson’s disease.

METHODS:

The current study presents data on tongue movements for patients with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease (n=10), age-matched adults (n=13), and younger healthy adults (n=15).

RESULTS:

Participants with Parkinson’s disease showed smaller and more variable movements in the horizontal movement plane, indicating thattongue movements are affected in early stages of Parkinson’s disease.

CONCLUSIONS:

The small and more variable movements in the horizontal plane of Patients with Parkinson’s disease may pose challenges for swallowing liquids efficiently and safely.

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