Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 47 Number 7, 2010
   Pages 651 — 660

Abstract —  Pressure profile similarities between tongue resistance training tasks and liquid swallows

Catriona M. Steele, PhD;1-5* Gemma L. Bailey, MHSc;1 Sonja M. Molfenter, MHSc;1 Erin M. Yeates, MHSc;1 Karen Grace-Martin, MA6

1Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Toronto, Canada; 2Department of Speech-Language Pathology, 3Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, and 4Graduate Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada; 5Bloorview Kids Rehab, Toronto, Canada; 6The Analysis Factor, Ithaca, NY

Abstract — Tongue-pressure resistance training is known to increase tongue strength in seniors and individuals with stroke-related dysphagia. However, evidence of associated functional improvements in swallowing is equivocal. We investigated similarities in pressure waveform profiles between swallowing and several tongue-palate pressure tasks to identify tasks that may be best suited for inclusion in tongue-pressure resistance training protocols for patients who are unable to safely perform real bolus swallows in treatment. Tongue-palate pressures were recorded in 20 healthy young adults. Participants performed water and nectar-thick juice swallows, effortful and noneffortful saliva swallows, and "half-maximum" tongue-palate partial-pressure tasks emphasizing either anterior or posterior tongue-palate contact at different speeds. Pressure slopes (amplitude change over time) during the pressure application (rise) and withdrawal (release) phases were analyzed. A subset of four tasks with the greatest similarity in slope characteristics to those seen in bolus swallows was identified: anterior-emphasis half-maximum tongue-palate presses, posterior-emphasis maximum isometric tongue-palate presses, posterior-emphasis half-maximum slow tongue-palate presses, and effortful saliva swallows. We propose that future research should explore the degree to which swallowing improvements are obtained from treatment protocols that emphasize these tasks.

Key words: dysphagia, exercise, oral-motor, pressure, rehabilitation, resistance, speech-language pathology, swallowing, tongue, tongue resistance training.

This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Steele CM, Bailey GL, Molfenter SM, Yeates EM, Grace-Martin K. Pressure profile similarities between tongue resistance training tasks and liquid swallows. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2010;47(7):651-60.

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Last Reviewed or Updated  Thursday, October 7, 2010 9:50 AM

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