Aims: To investigate the effect of menthol on swallowing reflex sensitivity in elderly patients with dysphagia. Methods and results: The swallowing reflex sensitivity of institutionalized elderly patients was evaluated as a latent time of swallowing reflex (LTSR), induced by the injection of 1 ml solution into the pharynx. LTSR was significantly shortened in a concentration-dependent manner, from 13.8 s [95% confidence interval (CI) 11.1, 16.5] by distilled water to 9.4 s (95% CI 7.1. 11.8) by 10-2m menthol. Conclusion: Using menthol with elderly patients with dysphagia may improve the sensitivity of their swallowing reflex, resulting in prevention of aspiration pneumonia.
- Swallowing reflex