Facial pain, distress, and immune function

Joseph J. Marbach, Steven Schleifer, Steven Keller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Chronic facial pain syndromes are associated with high levels of distress and depression. Immune system measures were investigated in otherwise healthy patients suffering from chronic temporomandibular pain and dysfunction syndrome (TMPDS) and in matched controls. No mean differences were found between TMPDS patients and the controls on any of the immune measures; however, both ConA and PWM responses in TMPDS patients were decreased in relation to the level of demoralization (P < 0.05). Cognitive symptoms such as low self-esteem and perceptions of helplessness/hopelessness were implicated in these effects. In addition, among patients pain severity was independently associated with decreased ConA response (P < 0.05). The data suggest possible correlates of stress-induced changes in the immune system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-254
Number of pages12
JournalBrain Behavior and Immunity
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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