Bulbar signs in normal population
Canadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
There is lack of published data on bulbar signs among the healthy population. This study aims to determine the range of normality of bulbar signs particularly among the elderly. Systemic examination of bulbar signs was carried out according to a predetermined protocol on a cohort of young and elderly healthy subjects. A total of 206 subjects were recruited in the study, 104 young adults with mean age of 20 years, and 102 elderly with mean age of 73 years. Uvula deviation was seen in 28 (26.9%)
... seen in 28 (26.9%) young subjects and 22 (21.6%) elderly. Irregular tongue border was seen in 17 subjects, unilateral in 4 subjects. Fourteen (6.8%) subjects had deviation on tongue protrusion. Occasional tremor of tongue on protrusion is common in both young and old. Persistent (severe) tongue tremor on protrusion was seen in 18.6% of the elderly, and 4.8% of the young. None of the subjects had tremor of tongue at rest. In gag reflex, absence of gagging response was common in elderly, seen in two thirds of the subjects on stimulation of the posterior pharyngeal wall. However, all the subjects had uvular movement. Habituation or suppression of gagging response was seen in close to 90% of young males. There is wide range of normality in bulbar signs in normal population, particularly among the elderly.