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Volume 26 , Issue 2
Spring 2012

Pages 91-98

Temporomandibular Disorder–Type Pain and Migraine Headache in Women: A Preliminary Twin Study

Octavia Plesh, DDS, MS/Carolyn Noonan, MS/Dedra S. Buchwald, MD/Jack Goldberg, PhD/Niloo Afari, PhD

PMID: 22558608

Aims: To determine whether shared genetic influences are responsible for the association between pain from temporomandibular disorders (TMD) and migraine headache. Methods: Data were -obtained from 1,236 monozygotic and 570 dizygotic female twin pairs from the University of Washington Twin Registry. TMD pain was assessed with a question about persistent or recurrent pain in the jaw, temple, in front of the ear, or in the ear. The presence of migraine headache was determined by self-report of doctor--diagnosed migraine. Univariate and bivariate structural equation models estimated the components of variance attributable to genetic and environmental influences. Results: The best fitting univariate models indicated that additive genetic effects contributed 27% of the variance in TMD pain (95% confidence interval = 15% to 38%) and 49% of the variance in migraine headache (95% confidence interval = 40% to 57%). The best-fitting bivariate model revealed that 12% of the genetic component of TMD pain is shared with migraine headache. Conclusion: These preliminary findings suggest that the association between TMD pain and migraine headache in women may be partially due to a modest shared genetic risk for both conditions. Future studies can focus on replicating these findings with symptom- and diagnosis-based instruments. J OROFAC PAIN 2012;26:91–98

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