The development of normal feeding and swallowing.
ABSTRACT The development of feeding skills is an extremely complex process influenced by multiple anatomic, neurophysiologic, environmental, social, and cultural factors. Most children negotiate the necessary developmental sequence without significant difficulties. An understanding of the development of normal feeding abilities aids the pediatrician in monitoring this remarkable process in his or her normal patients. This understanding also helps equip the pediatrician who is challenged by a child with complex feeding problems. The following statements summarize the major elements of feeding development. 1. Structural integrity is essential to the development of normal feeding and swallowing skills. Infant anatomy differs from adult anatomy. Anatomic changes associated with growth affect feeding function. 2. Normal infant feeding is reflexive, under brainstem control, and does not require suprabulbar input. As feeding development progresses, basic brainstem-mediated responses come under voluntary control through the process of encephalization. 3. The mature swallow consists of a voluntary oral-preparatory phase, a voluntary oral phase, and involuntary pharyngeal and esophageal phases. The infant swallow does not have a voluntary oral-preparatory and oral phase but is otherwise similar. 4. The neurophysiologic control of feeding and swallowing is complex and involves sensory afferent nerve fibers, motor efferent fibers, paired brainstem swallowing centers, and suprabulbar neural input. Close integration of sensory and motor functions is essential to the development of normal feeding skills. 5. Feeding development, although dependent on structural integrity and neurologic maturation, is a learned progression of behaviors. This learning is heavily influenced by oral sensation, fine and gross motor development, and experiential opportunities. 6. The basic physiologic complexity of feeding is compounded by individual temperament, interpersonal relationships, environmental influences, and culture. 7. The main goal of feeding is the acquisition of sufficient nutrients for optimal growth and development. Malnutrition may result directly from feeding problems and may also help perpetuate them. 8. Protection of the airway during swallow is a reflexive, multileveled function consisting of the apposition of the epiglottis and aryepiglottic folds and the adduction of both false and true vocal folds.
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ABSTRACT: Primitive reflexes can reappear with diseases of the brain, particularly those affecting the frontal lobes. Most studies on primitive reflexes have reported an association between such reflexes and brain damage, and the clinical symptoms of dementia. These reflexes can also be present during eating; however, their effects on eating function are difficult to evaluate. The purpose of the present study was to identify the frequency at which primitive reflexes reappear in elderly people, and to determine the effects that such reflexes have on eating function, nutritional status and prognosis. We followed 121 nursing home residents for 6 months. All patients required long-term care and were examined for the presence of a sucking reflex, snout reflex and phasic bite reflex for baseline measures. Demographic characteristics, physical and cognitive function, and nutritional status were obtained from chart reviews, interviews with nurses, and a brief physical examination at baseline and incidence of aspiration pneumonia during the study period. The sucking reflex was confirmed in 31 patients (25.6%), snout reflex in 15 patients (12.3%) and phasic bite reflex in 28 patients (23.1%). One or more of these reflexes was identified in 38 patients (31.4%). A relationship between the presence of a primitive reflex and nutritional status was shown. An association with the presence of these reflexes and the development of aspiration pneumonia during 6 months was also confirmed. The appearance of primitive reflexes appears to be associated with the risk of malnutrition and developing aspiration pneumonia. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2013; ●●: ●●-●●.Geriatrics & Gerontology International 08/2013;
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ABSTRACT: Mastication efficiency is defined as the efficiency of crushing food between the teeth and manipulating the resulting particles to form a swallowable food bolus. It is dependent on the orofacial anatomical features of the subject, the coordination of these anatomical features and the consistency of the food used during testing. Different measures have been used to indirectly quantify mastication efficiency as a function of children's age such as observations, food bolus characterisation, muscle activity measurement and jaw movement tracking. In the present review, we aim to describe the changes in the oral physiology (e.g. bone and muscle structure, teeth and soft tissues) of children and how these changes are associated with mastication abilities. We also review previous work on the effect of food consistency on children's mastication abilities and on their level of texture acceptance. The lack of reference foods and differences in testing methodologies across different studies do not allow us to draw conclusions about (1) the age at which mastication efficiency reaches maturity and (2) the effect of food consistency on the establishment of mature mastication efficiency. The effect of food consistency on the development of children's mastication efficiency has not been tested widely. However, both human and animal studies have reported the effect of food consistency on orofacial development, suggesting that a diet with harder textures enhances bone and muscle growth, which could indirectly lead to better mastication efficiency. Finally, it was also reported that (1) children are more likely to accept textures that they are able to manipulate and (2) early exposure to a range of textures facilitates the acceptance of foods of various textures later on. Recommending products well adapted to children's mastication during weaning could facilitate their acceptance of new textures and support the development of healthy eating habits.The British journal of nutrition 09/2013; · 3.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To investigate the characteristic features of transient neonatal feeding intolerance (TNFI) during the hospitalization for birth in the maternity ward. A prospective follow-up study. Maternity ward and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in an academic medical center. Term (≥ 37-weeks gestation) infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit with recurrent vomiting and refusal to feed between January and December 2011. These infants were prospectively followed-up at 1, 2, 4, 6 months of age in the outpatient clinic. During the study period 1280 infants were evaluated in the maternity ward. Forty-eight (3.75%) neonates with repeated vomiting and refusal to feed were hospitalized from the maternity unit to the NICU Level I on the first postnatal day for further investigation. All infants started vomiting in the first day (median 5.75 hours; interquartile range: 1-24) and recovered by the 48(th) postnatal hour (median 27.5 hours; interquartile range: 14-48 hours). Laboratory and imaging studies showed no abnormalities. After discharge, 6-month follow-up of these infants showed no vomiting or feeding intolerance during well-child visits. Infants with TNFI can be managed with close observation and supportive measures if they have no other indications of underlying disease. We believe that expectant management and supportive measures under skilled nursing care will prevent unnecessary diagnostic evaluation, mother/infant separation, and prolonged hospital stay.Journal of Obstetric Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing 03/2014; 43(2):200-4. · 1.03 Impact Factor