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Title:Identifying the Neural Correlates of Swallowing in Two Age Groups Using fMRI
Author(s):Malandraki, Georgia Andrew
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Perlman, Adrienne L.; Sutton, Bradley P.
Department / Program:Speech and Hearing Science
Discipline:Speech and Hearing Science
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Health Sciences, Speech Pathology
Abstract:Understanding the neural functional organization of normal swallowing and its components is essential in accurately diagnosing and treating patients with swallowing disorders, also known as dysphagia. The aim of the present investigation was to identify the neural activation sites of different components of deglutition in healthy young and older adults using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). Ten young (age range 19-25 years of age; five males and five females) and nine older (age range 66-77 years of age; three males and six females) right-handed healthy individuals were scanned in a 3 Tesla Siemens Allegra MRI scanner. Participants were visually cued for both a "Swallow" task and for component/control tasks ("Prepare to swallow", "Tap your tongue", and "Clear your throat") in a randomized order (event-related design). Behavioral Interleaved Gradient (BIG) methodology was used to address movement-related artifacts. Areas activated during each of the control tasks enabled the differentiation of the neural localization for various components of the swallow. Between group comparisons revealed statistically stronger activations mainly in the primary somatosensory cortex of young adults during most tasks examined (p<0.05). Within and between group comparisons of hemispheric preference failed to find groupwise significant lateralization of the entire sensorimotor cortex or a significant group difference in hemispheric preference in the tasks examined. Qualitative observations, however, revealed two interesting findings. First, during swallowing and related tasks, both young and elderly adults showed activations in the major motor areas involved in the initiation and execution of movement; however, areas involved in sensory processing and integration between sensory and motor information and/or motor coordination and control, showed limited if any activation in the elderly. Second, most young adults demonstrated a relatively consistent laterality preference for the left or right hemisphere within tasks (although not always statistically significant). The elderly participants showed more variable laterality within tasks, thus a more symmetrical activation. Overall, the present study added to the limited body of literature on the functional neural control of swallowing and related tasks in normal young and elderly adults and validated the use of fMRI and the BIG methodology in the accurate identification of the neural correlates of deglutition in two age groups.
Issue Date:2008
Description:251 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3337857
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2008

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