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National Academy of Medicine Study on Temporomandibular Disorders

The first meeting of the National Academy of Medicine Committee on Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD): From Research Discoveries to Clinical Treatment will be held Tuesday, January 29, 2019 at the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, D.C.&

Attention Canadian TMJ Implant Patients

The Trial of the Class Action brought by Canadian patients who were implanted with Vitek Proplast TMJ implants, against Health Canada, alleging negligent regulation starts on April 1, 2019 in Toronto.

Long-term Changes in Biopsychosocial Characteristics Related to Temporomandibular Disorder: Findings from the OPPERA Study

The following article by Roger B. Fillingim, Gary D. Slade, Joel D. Greenspan, Ronald Dubner, William Maixner, Eric Bair, and Richard Ohrbach was published in the journal of Pain, November 2018. We are grateful to Dr. Fillingim for writing the following

National Academy of Medicine to Conduct a Study on Temporomandibular Disorders

We want you to be among the first to know that because of the advocacy efforts of The TMJ Association, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) will conduct a first-ever study on Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD).

Dentists in Distress

Fear of the dentist is practically a rite of passage in youth. Growing up, I wasn't exactly afraid of the dentist; rather, any excuse to leave school early was a powerful incentive. These days, I have a more complicated relationship with dentistry: I go to get answers and try to feel better, but I always pop a prophylactic ibuprofen or two in case my jaw protests from the oral gymnastics.

Hyperreactive Brain Network May Be Cause of Chronic Pain in Fibromyalgia, Study Suggests

  • Feb 14, 2018

Fibromyalgia is one of the overlapping pain conditions with TMD. This article appeared in Fibromyalgia News Today on January 15, 2018.

A new study suggests a hyperreactive brain network may be the underlying cause of chronic pain in fibromyalgia. The study, "Functional Brain Network Mechanisms of Hypersensitivity in Chronic Pain," was published in the journal of Scientific Reports.

The report shows that brain networks of fibromyalgia patients have an underlying hypersensitivity that leads them to overreact to stimulation in an explosive, widespread, and synchronized manner.

This type of response is called explosive synchronization (ES), a phenomenon that occurs both in biological and technological networks, such as during epileptic seizures or power grid failures.

"For the first time, this research shows that the hypersensitivity experienced by chronic pain patients may result from hypersensitive brain networks," Richard Harris, the study's co-senior author and associate professor of anesthesiology at the Chronic Pain and Fatigue Research Center at Michigan Medicine, said in a press release.

The electrical activity of the brains of 10 female fibromyalgia patients were recorded by electroencephalogram (EEG), a noninvasive technique.

EEG results revealed that fibromyalgia patients do indeed display brain network configurations with explosive synchronization properties. In each patient, researchers found a significant correlation between the degree of ES and the intensity of reported chronic pain.

Researchers then used computer models of brain activity to simulate how a fibromyalgia brain reacts to stimulation. They found that the fibromyalgia brain was more sensitive to electrical stimulation than a brain model without ES characteristics.

"As opposed to the normal process of gradually linking up different centers in the brain after a stimulus, chronic pain patients have conditions that predispose them to linking up in an abrupt, explosive manner," said UnCheol Lee, the study's first author, a physicist and assistant professor of anesthesiology at Michigan Medicine.

According to the team, this type of modeling could help guide future treatments for fibromyalgia as brain regions important for explosive synchronization behavior and therapies that target it can first be tested on a computer model.

It is still unknown from a global brain perspective which of the brain network interactions create the subjective sensation of chronic pain. This study suggests, for the first time, that the explosive synchronization phenomena might be the cause of chronic pain in fibromyalgia patients.

Overlapping Conditions

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In Treating TMJ

To view or order a free booklet about TMJ Disorders, visit the National Institutes of Health website.

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