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Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2006 Dec;102(6):750-7. Epub 2006 Jul 14.

Brain activity during stimulation of the trigeminal nerve with noxious heat.

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  • 1Orofacial Pain Center, College of Dentistry, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536-0297, USA. rdele0@uky.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to observe areas of brain activation with painful hot stimulation to the trigeminal nerve.

STUDY DESIGN:

Nine healthy pain-free women (mean age 26.2 +/- 6.9 yrs) with a natural, regular menstrual cycle participated in the study. Whole-brain functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data were acquired for each participant on day 2 or 3 after the onset of menses using echo-planar imaging at 1.5T with near-isotropic spatial resolution and a temporal resolution of 4 s.

RESULTS:

Whole-brain fMRI with a Peltier thermode inside the head coil yielded a feasible imaging protocol with little disturbance from the thermode. Painful thermal stimulation of the left trigeminal system activated discrete brain regions within the insula, cingulate gyrus, thalamus, inferior parietal lobe/postcentral gyrus, right middle and inferior frontal gyri, cuneus, precuneus, and precentral gyrus.

CONCLUSION:

Painful stimulation of the trigeminal nerve resulted in activation of similar brain areas generally known for pain processing of painful peripheral stimulation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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