Effects of Oropharyngeal Air-Pulse Stimulation on Swallowing in Healthy Older Adults

While previous research has shown that air-pulse stimulation of the oropharynx facilitates saliva swallowing in young adults, the effects of air pulses in older adults have not been examined

Julie A. Theurer

2009

Key concepts

Scholarcy highlights

  • While previous research has shown that air-pulse stimulation of the oropharynx facilitates saliva swallowing in young adults, the effects of air pulses in older adults have not been examined
  • This study sought to determine the effects of oropharyngeal air-pulse stimulation on saliva swallowing rates in 18 healthy older adults
  • Saliva swallowing rates were monitored across six conditions: baseline without mouthpiece, baseline with mouthpiece in situ, unilateral right oropharyngeal stimulation, unilateral left oropharyngeal stimulation, bilateral oropharyngeal stimulation, and sham stimulation
  • Results indicated that bilateral oropharyngeal air-pulse stimulation was associated with a statistically significant increase in mean saliva swallowing rate compared to baseline without mouthpiece, baseline with mouthpiece in situ, and sham stimulation
  • Young adults reported an irrepressible urge to swallow in response to oropharyngeal air-pulse delivery, but the older adults in the current study did not perceive the air-pulse stimulation as being associated with swallowing or other behaviors

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