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01.03.2012 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2012

Dysphagia 1/2012

Changes in Chemosensitivity and Mechanosensitivity in Aging and Parkinson’s Disease

Zeitschrift:
Dysphagia > Ausgabe 1/2012
Autoren:
Li Pyn Leow, Lutz Beckert, Tim Anderson, Maggie-Lee Huckabee

Abstract

The risk of aspiration pneumonia in Parkinson’s disease (PD) may be increased by sensory loss in the laryngopharynx and a reduced cough reflex. This study investigated changes in chemo- and mechanosensation with age and in PD and documented cough thresholds and cortical influences over cough. Single-breath citric acid inhalation cough challenge and flexible nasendoscopy were performed in 32 participants with idiopathic PD (mean age = 68.5 years, range = 45.8–82.5) and 16 healthy young adults (8 males, mean age = 25.1 years, range = 21.3–32.4), and 16 healthy elders (8 males, mean age = 72.8 years, range = 61.5–84.7) as controls. Individuals with PD had reduced sensation at the base of the tongue compared to age- and gender-matched counterparts (p < 0.005). All groups demonstrated lower natural cough thresholds than suppressed cough thresholds. No differences in natural cough thresholds were found across groups. Young adults demonstrated greater ability to suppress cough compared to healthy elders (p = 0.021). Tongue-base mechanosensory impairment in PD may account for vallecular residue and complaints of globus sensation. However, decreased cough response was not found to be a characteristic of PD. This study provided evidence for voluntary control of cough and the lack of decline of chemosensitivity with age or disease.

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