We are delighted to announce that ME Research UK has awarded funding to Mr James Allison at Newcastle University for his new study exploring pain and autonomic dysfunction in ME/CFS and temporomandibular disorders (TMDs).
Widespread pain affecting the muscles and joints is a significant problem for people with ME/CFS, and has a huge impact on their everyday activities and quality of life. While central sensitisation in the brain and dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) are thought to play a role, the precise mechanisms involved are not yet known.
TMDs are a group of musculoskeletal conditions affecting the muscles that move the jaw. They cause pain in the face and jaw, and are more common in ME/CFS than in the general population. Research from Prof. Julia Newton’s group at Newcastle University suggests that the link between ME/CFS and TMDs may be due to a common underlying problem affecting the ANS.
James is an oral surgeon in Newcastle who plans to investigate the brain’s response to painful pressure in people with either or both of these conditions, in order to determine where any differences may occur, and whether this pain can be reduced by stimulation of the vagus nerve.