Department of Dental Anesthesiology

 The dental anesthesiology is one of the clinical science based on the physiology and pharmacology, so the wide knowledge beyond the dentistry are quite needed. Therefore, we investigate subjects across the spectrum from basic to clinical research.

Associate ProfessorChiho KUDO
Associate ProfessorHiroharu MAEGAWA
Assistant ProfessorChizuko YOKOE
Assistant ProfessorFumi KOZU

■ Research projects

1. Migraine and cortical spreading depression (CSD)

Migraine is a common condition observed in approximately 10 % of the population in Japan. The clinical characteristics of migraine are the unilateral and pulsating severe headache lasting for 4-72 hours, and sometimes associated with nausea, vomiting, photophobia and phonophobia. Migraine patients sometimes complain of the tooth or facial pain during the attack. CSD, which is an observationally-defined, slowly propagating wave of neuronal and glial depolarization, that develops within brain areas such as cerebral cortex, cerebellum or hippocampus, has been reported as one of the possible mechanisms of the migraine. It has been reported that CSD can activate the trigeminal sensory systems that innervates to the orofacial area, and presumably lead to migraine headache. Our group focuses on CSD and tries to elucidate the mechanism of the migraine from various respects using the CSD animal models.

2. Parkinson’s disease (PD) and the pain perception at the oral region

PD is associated with pain symptoms as well as movement disorder such as muscular rigidity and bradykinesia. However, it is unclear how PD modifies pain perception. Our group assessed whether pain threshold in oral region could be influenced in the 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) treated rat, which has been widely used as a PD animal model, by the formalin test, the immunohistochemistry of c-fos expression and found that PD rat showed hypersensitivity to pain. We are currently investigating the mechanism.

3. Studies on alleviation of orofacial neuropathic pain

Neuropathic pain is known to be intractable compared to nociceptive pain. Neuropathic pain is also treated in dentistry. This is because neuropathic pain is also caused by dental treatment and tooth extraction. For the treatment of neuropathic pain, drugs with mechanisms of action different from those of existing drugs are required. We use neuropathic pain model animals to elucidate the pathophysiology of neuropathic pain and conduct research aimed at alleviating symptoms. Recently, we reported that dopamine D2 receptor agonists and anti-CGRP antibodies are involved in the alleviation of neuropathic pain.