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Papers of the Week

Papers: 28 Mar 2020 - 3 Apr 2020

Human Studies


J Oral Sci



Time-dependent responses in brain activity to ongoing hot stimulation in burning mouth syndrome.


Kohashi R, Shinozaki T, Sekine N, Watanabe K, Takanezawa D, Nishihara C, Ozasa K, Ikeda M, Noma N, Okada-Ogawa A, Imamura Y
J Oral Sci. 2020; 62(2):170-174.
PMID: 32224570.


Burning mouth syndrome (BMS) is classified into idiopathic orofacial pain conditions. Although central and peripheral neuropathic mechanisms are believed to be involved, the etiology remains to be fully elucidated. The present study examined temporal brain responses to an ongoing hot stimulus to investigate the pain modulating system in patients with BMS. The thermal stimulation sequence comprised baseline (32°C, 40 s) to warm (40°C, 32 s) to baseline (32°C, 40 s) to hot (49°C, 32 s), which was repeated four times using a Peltier thermode. These warm and hot stimuli were applied on the right palm and right lower lip in two separate sessions. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired by recording echo-planar images with a block design. Brain activity induced by purely hot stimulation (49°C vs. 40°C) applied to the palm was more pronounced than that induced by lip stimulation and in patients with BMS compared with controls. Comparison of brain activity between the first 16 s and second 16 s of the stimulus revealed pronounced time-dependent facilitation in patients with BMS during lip stimulation. These findings indicate that the pain modulating system in patients with BMS is dysregulated and that the brain in BMS is highly sensitized to pain information originating from the trigeminal system.