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Forma, Vol. 27 (No. 1), pp. 1-4, 2012

Forum

Distribution of Cerebral Blood Flow during Gum-Chewing

Yasuyuki Matuura1, Takuya Taniguchi2, Akihiro Sugiura3, Masaru Miyao4 and Hiroki Takada5*

1Headquarters for Innovative Society-Academia Cooperation, University of Fukui, 3-9-1 Bunkyo, Fukui 910-8507, Japan
2Murakami Memorial Hospital, Asahi University, 3-23 Hashimoto-cho, Gifu 500-8523, Japan
3Gifu University of Medical Science, 795-1 Ichihiraga, Nagamine, Seki, Gifu 501-3892, Japan
4Department of Information Engineering, Graduate School of Information Science, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Nagoya 464-8603, Japan
5Department of Human and Artificial Intelligent Systems, Graduate School of Engineering, University of Fukui, 3-9-1 Bunkyo, Fukui 910-8507, Japan
*E-mail address: takada@u-fukui.ac.jp

(Received October 27, 2011; Accepted January 5, 2012)

Abstract. The physiological mechanism for the prevention of obesity by increasing the chewing frequency has recently been clarified, and its hygienic characteristics have been reported. Research into masticatory movement has not been initiated only due to its involvement in health promotion, but is also being increasingly investigated as a factor influencing the development and maintenance of brain function. Chewing training is not only useful for middle-aged and elderly obese individuals, but also employed as educational instruction at health centers and schools. In this study, in order to elucidate the influence of masticatory movement on the brain, we examined young males during gum-chewing. Electromyography of their masticatory muscles and near-infrared spectroscopy were simultaneously conducted to investigate the relationship between chewing and local cerebral blood flow. The influence of masticatory movement on the brain was confirmed by examining images of the brain obtained on magnetic resonance imaging. Through these findings, gum chewing was suggested to reduce stress.

Keywords: Mastication, Cerebral Blood Flow, Electromyograms (EMGs), Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)


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