La Trobe
1400062_Yitbarek,G_2023.pdf (472.07 kB)

Current evidence on the association of tongue strength with cognitive decline in older adults and the known risk factors of frailty, sarcopenia and nutritional health: a scoping review protocol

Download (472.07 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-11-06, 07:15 authored by Getachew Yideg Yitbarek, Jane Alty, Katherine LawlerKatherine Lawler, Lynette Ruth Goldberg

Introduction: Evidence suggests that the pathology underlying cognitive decline leading to dementia begins 15–20 years before cognitive symptoms emerge. Thus, identifying biomarkers in this preclinical phase is critically important. Age-related decrease in muscle mass and strength, a known risk factor for sarcopenia, frailty and cognitive decline, also affects the tongue. This paper describes an a priori protocol by a multidisciplinary team to address the following questions relating to adults ≥50 years of age: (1) What is the current evidence on the association of tongue strength with cognitive decline? (2) How does tongue strength associate with frailty and sarcopenia? (3) What is the association of tongue strength with nutritional health?

Methods and analysis: Search terms will be identified then multiple electronic databases (PubMed, PsycINFO (Ovid), Scopus, Embase (Ovid), CINAHL and Web of Science) searched systematically for peer-reviewed articles published in English that address the following inclusion criteria: (1) human studies, (2) participants ≥50 years of age and (3) studies with tongue pressure values measured in relation to at least one of the following: frailty, sarcopenia, nutritional health, cognitive function and dementia (Alzheimer’s, vascular, frontotemporal and Lewy body). Grey literature also will be searched to identify additional studies, clinical trials and policy papers appropriate for inclusion. The search will be from database inception. After removing duplicates, two research team members will independently screen abstracts and identify articles for full-text review. The team will use a data charting tool for data extraction. Data will be analysed quantitatively and qualitatively.


This work is supported by funding from J.O. and J.R. Wicking Trust (Equity Trustees). The work also is supported by a scholarship for PhD study to the first author by the College of Health and Medicine, University of Tasmania.


Publication Date



BMJ Open





Article Number








Rights Statement

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ. This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

Usage metrics

    Journal Articles


    Ref. manager