Diminished submandibular salivary flow in dementia of the Alzheimer Type

J. A. Ship, Charles DeCarli, R. P. Friedland, B. J. Baum

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Dementia of the Alzheimer Type (DAT) is the most common type of dementia among the elderly. Alzheimer's disease is a major public health problem, yet little is known about the potential oral consequences of the disease. Because saliva is beleived to be essential for the preservation of oral health and function, salivary gland fluid output was evaluated in a population of essentially healthy patients with early-stage DAT. Unstimulated and stimulated parotid and submandibular salivary gland secretions were collected from 28 nonmedicated and otherwise healthy DAT patients, and 35 age-matched healthy controls. Submandibular saliva flow rates were significantly lower among the patients with DAT compared to controls, while parotid flow rates did not differ. The results suggest a selective impairment in submandibular gland function in essentially healthy patients with early-stage DAT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournals of Gerontology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging

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