Effect of transcutaneous electrical stimulation amplitude on timing of swallow pressure peaks between healthy young and older adults

Ali Barikroo, Giedré Berretin-Felix, Giselle Carnaby, Michael Crary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: This study compared the effect of transcutaneous electrical stimulation (TES) amplitude on timing of lingual–palatal and pharyngeal peak pressures during swallowing in healthy younger and older adults. Background: Transcutaneous electrical stimulation amplitude is one parameter that may have different impacts on the neuromotor system and swallowing physiology. One aspect of swallowing physiology influenced by age is the timing of swallowing events. However, the effect of varying TES amplitudes on timing of swallowing physiology is poorly understood, especially in older adults. Materials and methods: Thirty-four adults (20 younger and 14 older) swallowed 10 ml of nectar-thick liquid under three TES conditions: no stimulation, low-amplitude stimulation and high-amplitude stimulation. TES was delivered by surface electrodes on the anterior neck. Timing of pressure peaks for lingual–palatal contacts and pharyngeal pressures were measured under each condition. Results: A significant age × stimulation amplitude interaction was identified for the base of tongue (BOT) [F(2,62) = 5.087, p < 0.009] and the hypopharynx (HYPO) [F(2,62) = 3.277, p < 0.044]. At the BOT, low-amplitude TES resulted in slower swallows in the younger adults compared with no TES. In older adults, low-amplitude TES resulted in faster swallows compared with high-amplitude TES. At the HYPO, no significant differences were identified in pressure timing across the three TES amplitudes in both age groups. In each case, low-amplitude TES resulted in faster swallows in older adults compared with younger adults. Conclusions: Transcutaneous electrical stimulation influences pharyngeal pressure timing differently in young and old people, which questions the appropriateness of using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ TES amplitude for rehabilitating people with dysphagia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-32
Number of pages9
JournalGerodontology
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • age
  • pressure timing
  • swallowing
  • transcutaneous electrical stimulation amplitude

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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