Tongue Strength Is Associated with Jumping Mechanography Performance and Handgrip Strength but Not with Classic Functional Tests in Older Adults

School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (Impact Factor: 4.57). 02/2013; 61(3). DOI: 10.1111/jgs.12124
Source: PubMed


To determine whether classic muscle function tests and jumping mechanography (JM) are related to tongue strength.
Ninety-seven community-dwelling individuals aged 70 and older (49 female, 48 male, mean age 80.7, range 70–95) with and without identified sarcopenia.
Participants performed muscle function tests including the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), grip strength, and JM. Isometric tongue strength was evaluated using the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument (IOPI). JM consisted of maximal countermovement jumps performed on a force plate to calculate weight-corrected peak power and jump height. Total body dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry was used to assess appendicular lean mass (ALM) to define sarcopenia based on commonly used ALM/height2 cutoffs. Associations between IOPI measures and other muscle function tests were evaluated.
Sarcopenia was present in 23.7% (23/97) of this cohort. Anterior isometric tongue pressure was positively correlated with grip strength (P = .003), jump height (P = .01), and power (P = .04). Individuals in the lowest tertile of tongue pressure had lower scores on these muscle function tests than individuals in the other tertiles. Classic functional tests and ALM/height2 were unrelated to tongue strength.
In older adults with and without sarcopenia, isometric tongue pressure is positively correlated with grip strength and jump height and power. These data support consideration of oropharyngeal functional decline as part of the sarcopenia syndrome.

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    • "There were, however, significant correlations between, for example, forearm muscle size and tibia bone parameters (see Supplementary Tables 5 and 6). It is safe to presume that individuals with, for example, greater jump power also have on average greater grip strength[19]. The explosive countermovement jump task typically explained greater proportions of variance of tibia and hip bone parameters than the sit-to-stand task. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: We evaluated which aspects of neuromuscular performance are associated with bone mass, density, strength and geometry. Methods: 417 women aged 60-94years were examined. Countermovement jump, sit-to-stand test, grip strength, forearm and calf muscle cross-sectional area, areal bone mineral content and density (aBMC and aBMD) at the hip and lumbar spine via dual X-ray absorptiometry, and measures of volumetric vBMC and vBMD, bone geometry and section modulus at 4% and 66% of radius length and 4%, 38% and 66% of tibia length via peripheral quantitative computed tomography were performed. The first principal component of the neuromuscular variables was calculated to generate a summary neuromuscular variable. Percentage of total variance in bone parameters explained by the neuromuscular parameters was calculated. Step-wise regression was also performed. Results: At all pQCT bone sites (radius, ulna, tibia, fibula), a greater percentage of total variance in measures of bone mass, cortical geometry and/or bone strength was explained by peak neuromuscular performance than for vBMD. Sit-to-stand performance did not relate strongly to bone parameters. No obvious differential in the explanatory power of neuromuscular performance was seen for DXA aBMC versus aBMD. In step-wise regression, bone mass, cortical morphology, and/or strength remained significant in relation to the first principal component of the neuromuscular variables. In no case was vBMD positively related to neuromuscular performance in the final step-wise regression models. Conclusion: Peak neuromuscular performance has a stronger relationship with leg and forearm bone mass and cortical geometry as well as proximal forearm section modulus than with vBMD.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Bone
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    • "Despite structural differences between the tongue and hand, the techniques used to assess muscle motor unit activities in each case are those devised for assessment of limb muscle motor unit activity. Accordingly, previous studies compared tongue and hand muscle function in regard to strength (Buehring et al. 2013), fatigue (Solomon et al. 2002; Adams et al. 2014a, b), movement precision (Sutton et al. 1977) and force regulation (Adams et al. 2014b). The results of this work indicate that the control is comparable in each structure although pinpoint accuracy of the hand appears somewhat greater— at least within the context of displacement (Sussman 1970). "
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    ABSTRACT: Motor unit recruitment was assessed in two muscles with similar muscle fiber-type compositions and that participate in skilled movements: the tongue muscle, genioglossus (GG), and the hand muscle, first dorsal interosseous (FDI). Our primary objectives were to determine in the framework of a voluntary movement whether muscle force is regulated in tongue as it is in limb, i.e., via processes of rate coding and recruitment. Recruitment in the two muscles was assessed within each subject in the context of ramp force (FDI) and in the tongue (GG) during vowel production and specifically, in the context of ramp increases in loudness, and subsequently expressed relative to the maximal. The principle findings of the study are that the general rules of recruitment and rate coding hold true for both GG and FDI, and second, that average firing rates, firing rates at recruitment and peak firing rates in GG are significantly higher than for FDI (P < 0.001) despite tasks performed across comparable force ranges (~2-40 % of max). The higher firing rates observed in the tongue within the context of phonation may be a function of that muscle's dual role as (prime) mover and hydrostatic support element.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Experimental Brain Research
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    • "Understandably, dysfunction of the respiratory muscles increases the risk of aspiration and aspiration pneumonia [54] [55]. Decreased masticatory muscle force and weak swallowing function lead to malnutrition [56] [57] [58] [59] [60]. The incidence of infections is known to be significantly higher in patients diagnosed with sarcopenia and hospitalized in geriatric wards [61]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Sarcopenia, an aging-induced generalized decrease in muscle mass, strength, and function, is known to affect elderly individuals by decreasing mobile function and increasing frailty and imbalance that lead to falls and fragile fractures. Sarcopenia is a known risk factor for osteoporotic fractures, infections, and early death in some specific situations. The number of patients with sarcopenia is estimated to increase to 500 million people in the year 2050. Sarcopenia is believed to be caused by multiple factors such as disuse, malnutrition, age-related cellular changes, apoptosis, and genetic predisposition; however, this remains to be determined. Various methods have been developed, but no safe or effective treatment has been found to date. This paper is a review on the association between sarcopenia and its related-fractures and their diagnoses and management methods to prevent fractures.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Aging and Disease
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