The main goal of this study was to investigate, using MEG, the dynamic neural mechanisms underlying facial tactile stimulation in two groups of subjects, namely a control group (without pain) and a TMD pain group (arthromyalgia), by stimulating the facial skin with a non-painful air-driven plastic membrane. Our first specific aim was to investigate and compare the spatial and temporal features of the ECDs following innocuous tactile stimuli in both groups. And t he second specific aim was to investigate the differences in dynamic brain function between these two groups using a time-frequency analysis of the MEG data. In summary, innocuous tactile stimulation proved to be a successful way to measure brain spatio-temporal dynamics in two group population. We were able to demonstrate very clear the differences in brain organization and dynamics between these two groups using an innocuous stimulus and without causing an unpleasant feeling. The results obtained allow for a paradigm shift in future research of brain mechanisms in pain by the use of non-painful tactile stimuli to evaluate brain function in various orofacial (or other) pain conditions, including neurovascular and neuropathic pains and other complex orofacial pain disorders.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. December 2009. Major: Oral Biology. Advisor: Dr. Apostolos P. Georgopoulos. 1 computer fiel (PDF); xv, 128 pages.
Alonso DDS, Aurelio Abdalla MS..
A magnetoencephalographic (MEG) study of brain mechanisms in temporomandibular disorder..
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