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Parkinson’s Disease
Volume 2018 (2018), Article ID 6537072, 8 pages
Research Article

Evidence of Oropharyngeal Dysfunction in Feeding in the Rat Rotenone Model of Parkinson’s Disease

1Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, OH, USA
2Department of Pharmaceutical Science, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, OH, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to François D. H. Gould

Received 7 July 2017; Revised 22 December 2017; Accepted 23 January 2018; Published 11 March 2018

Academic Editor: Giovanni Mirabella

Copyright © 2018 François D. H. Gould et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Swallowing disorders in Parkinson’s disease are not responsive to dopamine depletion therapy and contribute to morbidity. They are poorly understood owing to a lack of adequate models. We present the first evidence of oropharyngeal changes in a rotenone toxicity model of Parkinson’s disease. Rats were recorded while feeding before and after daily rotenone injections at two different doses (2.75 mg/kg and 3 mg/kg). The higher dose had a much more severe parkinsonian phenotype than the low dose. Timing and amplitude of chewing changed, as did the coordination of chewing and swallowing. Dose-dependent effects were evident. These preliminary results indicate that future research in toxicological models of Parkinson’s disease should incorporate the study of oropharyngeal dysfunction. A better understanding of nongenetic models of Parkinson’s disease in feeding may open new avenues for research into the neurological and behavioral bases for swallowing dysfunction in Parkinson’s disease.