Thejaswi Dodderi, Lekshana Umesh, Shahana Hakkeem
Department of Audiology and Speech Language Pathology, Nitte Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mangalore, KarnatakaIndia
Introduction: The 21st-century lifestyle has swallowing accompanied by competing cognitive activities (texting, reading, and television watching). The potential influence of competing cognitive tasks on swallowing and vice versa is not completely understood. Aim of the Study: This study examined the swallowing and cognitive abilities of healthy young and middle-aged adults in isolated condition and compared their performance with a competing swallow-cognitive dual task. Materials and Methods: Swallowing ability of thirty healthy young adults (20–40 years) and thirty healthy middle-aged adults (41–60 years) were measured by 100-ml thin liquids swallowing, and the cognitive ability was assessed by number recognition task. The two tasks performed in isolation and competing dual-task conditions were observed for changes in: (a) swallowing indices-volume/swallow, time/swallow, and swallow capacity; and (b) cognitive performance-reaction time. Results: Healthy young adults had better swallowing indices and faster number recognition compared to middle-aged adults, in isolated as well as dual-competing condition. Male participants 100-ml swallow capacity was higher, and their number recognition quicker than female participants. Multivariate Analysis of Variance with the main effect of age and gender suggested a statistically significant difference at P < 0.05 in isolated and competing-dual task conditions. Conclusion: Overall, the state of evidence suggests there exists a cumbersome influence of competing cognitive resources on swallowing performance and vice versa.
Keywords: Cognition, number recognition, reaction time, swallow capacity