J Korean Dysphagia Soc.  2020 Jan;10(1):92-96. 10.34160/jkds.2020.10.1.011.

Association of Tongue Pressure with Swallowing Function and Quality of Life in Parkinson’s Disease

  • 1Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Neurology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


The purpose of this study was to verify the hypothesis, by performing objective measurements, that tongue pressure will have an association with swallowing function in patients with Parkinson’s disease. It was also of interest whether measures of lingual function were consistent with reports of swallowing related quality of life.
The subjects were 18 patients with Parkinson’s disease. Their tongue pressure was examined by using an Iowa oral performance instrument (IOPI). They all underwent video fluoroscopic swallowing study (VFSS) and they completed a Korean swallowing-quality of life questionnaire (K-SWAL-QOL). Tongue pressures were measured in the anterior (MTPa: maximal tongue pressure anterior) and posterior (MTPp: maximal tongue pressure posterior). The cutoff value of MTP was 34 kPa.
The average of tongue pressure was decreased in both anterior (MTPa=27.79±13.44 kPa) and posterior (MTPp=19.20±8.88 kPa), and MTPp of all the subjects was less than 34 kPa. For the MTPa, 11 patients were under 34 kPa (abnormal group) and 7 patients were above 34 kPa (normal group). The oral transit time (OTT) of the abnormal MTPa group was significantly delayed more than that of the normal group (P=0.006). On the correlation analysis, the MTPa and OTT, MTPa and penetration aspiration scale (PAS), MTPp and PAS showed significant negative correlations with each other. The MTP and the social, sleep and fatigue subscores of K-SWAL-QOL showed significant positive correlations.
In patients with Parkinson’s disease, lower tongue pressure was related to delayed oral transit time and a higher aspiration tendency. We expect the clinical usage of the easily measured tongue pressure to predict the swallowing function and help plan the correct treatment.


Swallowing function; Tongue pressure; Parkinson Disease
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