alexa Randomized testing of taste discrimination in a case of congenital aglossia
Medicine

Medicine

Journal of Communication Disorders, Deaf Studies & Hearing Aids

Author(s): Betty Mcmicken, Andrew Kunihiro

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Aims Isolated Congenital Aglossia (ICA) is a rare syndrome where an individual is born without a tongue. A few anecdotal reports have identified taste as a sensation experienced by the person with congenital aglossia (PWCA). To date no systematic investigations have been reported. This study aimed to systematically determine gustatory function in a PWCA. Methods The current study utilized a randomized, double-blinded, controlled trial that tested the five basic tastes: sweet (sucrose), sour (acetic acid), salty (sodium chloride), bitter (caffeine), and umami (monosodium glutamate, MSG) in a 44 year old female PWCA. Five concentration levels (three for salty) were tested in triplicate for each stimulus. A nose clip was used to exclude contribution by olfactory detection. Contingency tables were constructed to determine relationships between identification accuracy and stimulus or concentration level. Results The sweet (17.1 g/L), salty (0.58 g/L), and bitter (0.02 g/L) stimuli were detected at comparable concentrations to those reported in non-randomized trials, while sour (0.02 g/L) was detected at a lower concentration. The most common substitution was salty for umami (n = 7). Identification accuracy was significantly associated with taste stimuli χ2 = 12.634, p = 0.013. Concentration level was significantly associated with identification accuracy only for salty, χ2 = 9.000, p = 0.011. Conclusion This study has demonstrated the perception of different tastes in a PWCA. This is the first known report of umami being identified as a unique taste in a PWCA. Variations in threshold taste concentrations compared to normal individuals indicate certain gustatory dysfunction.

This article was published in Journal of Oral Biology Craniofacial Research and referenced in Journal of Communication Disorders, Deaf Studies & Hearing Aids

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