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Keywords:

  • tongue movement;
  • swallowing; Parkinson's disease;
  • liquids;
  • articulography;
  • aging

Abstract

Background:

Patients with Parkinson's disease often suffer from swallowing problems, especially at more advanced stages of the disease. Efficient swallows require well-coordinated tongue movements during bolus flow, but little is known about such movements in Parkinson's disease.

Methods:

The current study presents data on tongue movements for patients with mild to moderate Parkinson's disease (n = 10), age-matched adults (n = 13), and younger healthy adults (n = 15).

Results:

Participants with Parkinson's disease showed smaller and more variable movements in the horizontal movement plane, indicating that tongue movements are affected in early stages of Parkinson's disease.

Conclusions:

The small and more variable movements in the horizontal plane of Patients with Parkinson's disease may pose challenges for swallowing liquids efficiently and safely. © 2011 Movement Disorder Society