The results provided in-depth baseline profiles at opposite ends of the disease spectrum. These profiles provide invaluable reference points from which to better evaluate the data from the longitudinal study. But the chronic TMJD profile in particular charts fresh scientific ground.
"The profile offers the most quantitative and thus complete picture to date of who has chronic TMJD and who is at risk," said Dr. William Maixner, the principal investigator of OPPERA and a scientist at the University of North Carolina. "While the current results are preliminary, they should be of immediate value to practitioners who treat patients with TMJD."
In addition to the new discoveries highlighted above, Maixner said he and his colleagues confirmed many previous findings in TMJD research and have placed them into a clearer conceptual context for further study. Maixner noted that these findings have gone far to validate the broad conceptual model of TMJD causation that underlies OPPERA's longitudinal study. The model, like a compass to a traveler, predicts the route ahead in the development of a specific disorder. In this case, Maixner and colleagues predicted that psychological distress and pain amplification are the two broad factors that contribute to the onset and persistence of TMJD.
"Within the broad headings of demographics, pain amplification, psychological distress, genetics, and life history of physical and psychological trauma lies a complex web of causation," said Maixner. "Our hope with the larger longitudinal study is to pull out specific factors within this web and also determine if there is
|Contact: Bob Kuska|
NIH/National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research