Facial pain : from animal models to functional neuroimaging studies.
|2001, N° 1 (Vol. 101/1)|
|This paper summarizes some recent findings on the
physiopathology of facial pain. Over the past decade, a
number of animal models of facial pain have been devel-oped.
Two of these models are discussed in more detail.
The model developed by Strassman and Burstein has
provided a useful tool for the study of the mechanisms
underlying migraine. Single unit recordings revealed
that medullary dorsal horn neurons show a long-lasting
increased response to dural and cutaneous periorbital
mechanical and thermal stimulation after application of
inflammatory agents to the dura. In addition, dural and
cutaneous receptive fields largely expanded and sponta-neous
ongoing activity developed. These findings sug-gest
that the extracranial hypersensitivity that is often
observed in headache may have an intracranial origin.
The second model that is discussed is the model of facial
neuropathic pain after infraorbital nerve ligation devel-oped
by Vos and colleagues. In contrast to the previous
model which is an acute electrophysiological prepara-tion,
the infraorbital nerve model is a behavioural
model. It can therefore be used both for electrophysio-logical
and behavioural studies. In recent years, a num-ber
of functional neuroimaging studies of facial pain
appeared. Studies performed in cluster headache
patients seem to point to a crucial role of the hypotha-lamus
in this syndrome. However, since hypothalamic
activation has also been reported in some other types of
(facial) pain, the specificity of the role of the hypothala-mus
in cluster headache remains to be proven.|
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