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Assessment of Oral and Pharyngeal Functions for Decision Making of the Ideal Thickness of Liquid

keywords_en.jpgThe Elderly, Prosthodontics, Swallowing Disorders 

division_en.jpg Applied Life Sciences

position_en.jpg Associate Professor

Outline

Background

It’s easy to cough or aspirate the liquid during swallowing in the elderly with swallowing disorders. Adding thickness to liquid is useful to avoid these situation, however, researches about thickness of liquid with physical assessments of swallowing function are rare and based on sensory or property assessments. In clinical situation, medical staffs decide the type and the amounts of thickening conditioners by their experimental rules. Making a new criteria and physical validation of “safe and easy to swallow” thickening liquid for swallowing disorder patients are needed.

Research Summary

The relationship between oral/pharyngeal functions and test liquids with various thickness are assessed by using videofluorography, videoendoscopy, tongue pressure measurement, swallowing sounds, sEMS, sensory evaluation and so on in the healthy young people/elderly, the elderly with swallowing disorders.

Result

In young healthy people, the relationship between the swallowing duration time and thickness of liquid was found. However, there is likely to be no relationship between the results of sensory evaluation and swallowing function because of individualities even in healthy young people and the different tastes of thickness of liquid/solid. Data collection will be continued in the healthy elderly and dysphagic patients.

For Application

The results will contribute to the developments of special foods/liquids for the elderly with deteriorated swallowing functions in our super-aging society through swallowing assessments.

Competitive Advances

The environment of the patients with swallowing disorders will be safer and more comfortable if the relationship between the oral/pharyngeal functions and ideal thickness of liquid are existed. We can contribute to the improvement of the problems in our super-aging society.

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Yoshikawa M, Yoshida M, Tsuga K, Akagawa Y, Groher ME. Comparison of three types of tongue pressure measurement devices. Dysphagia 2011; 26(3): 232-237.
Best poster award in the 19th annual conference of Japan society for mastication sciences and health promotion ”Occlusal contacts and swallowing function” “Development of easy-chew bread” in the 22nd annual conference of Japan society for mastication sciences and health promotion Symposium about “Easy- chew foods” (Oct, 2011)

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