Effect of Aging on Tongue Protrusion Forces in Rats
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The purpose of this study was to ascertain the effect of aging on muscle contractile properties associated with tongue protrusion in a rat model. Fischer 344/Brown Norway hybrid rats, ten young (9 months old) and ten old (32 months old), were used to measure protrusive contractile properties. Results showed a significant reduction in tetanic forces in the old animals. The following measures of muscle contraction were not different between age groups: mean twitch contraction force, twitch contraction time, twitch contraction half-decay time, and a calculated measure of fatigability. In conclusion, aging influenced protrusive tongue muscle contractions in a rat model such that tetanic forces were reduced. The reduction of tetanus force may parallel findings in human subjects relative to isometric tongue force generation and may be associated with age-related disorders of swallowing.
KeywordsDysphagia Tongue force Aging Deglutition Deglutition disorders
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