The Pulse

SLP Clinical Connection - Swallowing Research Summary

Posted by ACP - Accelerated Care Plus on Apr 20, 2023 8:00:00 PM

Barikroo, A., Im, I., Crary, M., Carnaby, G. (2023). Effects of Age and Lingual-Palatal Pressure Levels on Submental Surface Electromyography Measures. Dysphagia. 

Clinical Overview: Reduced tongue function is associated with an increased risk of food residue, choking, airway invasion, and aspiration pneumonia. One of the critical elements of tongue function during swallowing is generating a lingual palatal pressure (LPP) drive to propel the bolus through the oral and pharyngeal cavities. Surface electromyography (sEMG) biofeedback is a commonly utilized tool in swallowing assessment and exercise, including lingual intervention.

Research Focus: This study aimed to understand the effect of age and varying levels of submaximal LPPs on submental sEMG measurements to determine the validity of this type of biofeedback tool to improve tongue function during swallowing.

Intervention: 90 community-dwelling healthy adults without dysphagia participated in this multisite study. Simultaneous measurements of maximum isometric LPP using Iowa Oral Performance Instrument (IOPI) and sEMG amplitude using OmnisEMG™ with Synchrony Dysphagia Solutions by ACP® were obtained. Measurements of sEMG peak amplitudes, integrated value, and average amplitude were recorded at 40%, 60%, and 80% of maximum LPP, as determined by IOPI, during tongue press.

Results: Increased LPP levels simultaneously increased submental sEMG measurements. The mean sEMG peak value significantly increased with rising LPP levels, especially for younger and middle-aged groups. At 80% of maximum LPP, older adults consistently produced less sEMG average and integrated values when compared with younger and middle-aged adults.

Clinical Impact: Changes in LPP levels are reflected by changes in different sEMG values. Submental sEMG biofeedback has the potential to be incorporated into a skill-based lingual exercise program for patients with dysphagia.

ACP Value: ACP’s Dysphagia program incorporates virtual reality biofeedback using OmnisEMG™ to address lingual rehabilitation for improving patient outcomes in swallowing.

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Topics: Dysphagia, Speech Rehab, SLP Clinical Connection