Introduction: Few methods exist to study central nervous system processes
following intraoral somatosensory stimulation using functional magnetic
resonance imaging (fMRI), due to inherent technical difficulties associated with
this imaging tool. Our goal was to develop and perform feasibility testing of a
novel device capable of delivering valid and reliable intraoral somatosensory
stimuli at dental chair-side and during MRI.
Methods: Details of a device designed to deliver intraoral dynamic pressure
stimuli are described. Device testing took place in three settings: a) laboratory
testing to assess range of stimulus force intensities, b) dental chair-side to
assess reliability, validity and discriminant ability in force-pain relationship; and
c) MRI to evaluate magnetic compatibility and ability to evoke brain activation in
painfree subjects similar to those described in the literature.
Results: A novel device capable of delivering valid and reliable intraoral
somatosensory stimulation was developed (ICC=0.89, 0.78-1 [95% CI]).
Psychophysical data analysis showed high discriminant ability in differentiating
painfree controls from AO cases (sensitivity=100%, specificity=86.7%, area
under ROC curve=0.99). fMRI results of intraoral dynamic pressure pain in
painfree subjects revealed activation of brain areas typically associated with
acute pain processing including thalamus, primary and secondary
somatosensory, insular, and prefrontal cortices.
Conclusions: A novel psychophysical method to deliver dynamic intraoral
pressure stimulation was developed and validated, allowing non-invasive
exploration of cortical and subcortical mechanisms of intraoral somatosensation.
University of Minnesota Master of Science thesis. February 2010. Major: Dentistry. Advisor: Donald R. Nixdorf. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 38 pages.
Moana Filho, Estephan Jose.
Functional Imaging of Intraoral Somatosensory Stimuli: Development and Testing of a Novel Device.
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