Clinical Study

Lingual Strength And Skill: A Comparison Of 2 Medical Devices And Association With Swallowing Impairments After Stroke

Posted Date: Jan 19, 2022

  • Investigator: Brittany Krekeler
  • Specialties:
  • Type of Study: Device

Exercise of the lingual musculature is a common clinical intervention used to treat dysphagia. Given the positive effects of strength-based training in muscles of the limb, tongue exercise was developed with the goal of increasing lingual volume and strength. However, evidence is mixed regarding relative effects of tongue exercise as a treatment to improve swallowing function, and the relationship between specific deficits in lingual function and measures of swallowing impairment have yet to be fully elucidated. Further, there is a lack of consensus regarding optimal dosing recommendations for tongue exercise. Regardless of this mixed evidence, tongue exercise is still routinely used clinically as a treatment for dysphagia across multiple etiologies. Tongue exercise is executed by instructing the patient to press the tongue against the roof of the mouth as hard as possible which is often facilitated by a device. There are two commercially available devices for lingual pressure measurement: 1) the Iowa Oral Performance Instrument (IOPI®), which is considered industry standard and has been used most frequently in the literature; and 2) a novel tongue exercise device – the TongueometerTM. The Tongueometer offers an alternative, customizable, and highly cost-effective method of measuring and executing tongue tasks. When compared with the IOPI® device, the TongueometerTM is more affordable, making use of this device potentially more feasible for clinical implementation and improve accessibility to clinicians and patients. The purpose of this proposed work is to determine how tongue measurements taken with each device compare to one another and how these tongue measurements relate to various aspects of swallowing impairment. Short Term Goals: 1) Compare tongue measures between two commercially available devices; 2) Obtain novel measurements of tongue strength, speed, and endurance using new features available with Tongueometer device; and 3) Determine the relationship among these measures of tongue function and specific features of swallowing impairment in chronic post-stroke dysphagia. Long Term Goal: This work will provide a foundation for future efficacy studies of device-facilitated lingual exercise targeting improvement in swallowing outcomes for patients with post-stroke dysphagia. These results will provide essential pilot data for the next phase of study focused on identification of new clinical targets for tongue exercise and training and clearer delineation of exercise dose effects on swallowing-related outcomes.


Healthy Individuals With Normal Swallowing Function Across The Age Span, Individuals Who Have Had A Stroke And Do Not Have Swallowing Problems, Individuals Who Have Had A Stroke And Do Have Swallowing Problems


Swallowing, Dysphagia, Tongue

For More Information:

Brittany Krekeler

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