We have previously documented increased amplitude of motor-evoked potentials (MEPs) from the submental muscles during volitional swallowing following simultaneous odor and tastant stimulation. The MEP denotes neural excitability from the motor cortex to the target muscle(s). However, it is unknown if changes in the MEP transfer to the swallowing muscles to facilitate improved swallowing. Thus, we sought to evaluate changes in the biomechanics of swallowing following stimulation protocols that are known to influence neural excitability. Sixteen healthy participants were exposed to low and high concentrations of lemon odor and tastant. The odor and tastant concentrations which produced the highest amplitude of submental electromyography (EMG) were then combined for simultaneous stimuli presentation. Outcome measures included EMG from the submental muscles, as well as lingual and pharyngeal manometry. Poststimulation results showed decreased midglossopalatal pressure at 30. min and decreased duration at anterior and midglossopalatal pressure and increased EMG duration at 60. min. This study strengthens the justification for the use of flavor in managing patients with dysphagia as long-term changes were present in the poststimulation period. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
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