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Papers of the Week

Papers: 15 Jun 2024 - 21 Jun 2024


Adv Neurobiol



Modulatory Processes in Craniofacial Pain States.


Sessle BJ


Pain is a common symptom associated with many disorders affecting the craniofacial tissues that include the teeth and their supporting structures, the jaw, face and tongue muscles, and the temporomandibular joint. Most acute craniofacial pain states are easily recognized and readily treated, but chronic craniofacial pain states (e.g., temporomandibular disorders [TMD], trigeminal neuropathies, and some headaches) may be especially challenging to manage successfully. This chapter provides an overview of the processes that underlie craniofacial pain, with a focus on the pain-modulatory mechanisms operating in craniofacial tissues and in the central nervous system (CNS), including the role of endogenous chemical processes such as those involving opioids. The chapter outlines in particular findings from preclinical studies that have provided substantial information about the neural as well as nonneural (e.g., glial) processes involved in the initiation, transmission, and modulation of nociceptive signals in the trigeminal system, and also draws attention to their clinical correlates. The increased understanding gained from these preclinical studies of how nociceptive signals can be modulated will contribute to improvements in presently available therapeutic approaches to manage craniofacial pain as well as to the development of novel analgesic approaches.