Oral implant-prostheses: New teeth for a brighter brain

Vincenzo De Cicco, Massimo Barresi, Maria Paola Tramonti Fantozzi, Enrico Cataldo, Vincenzo Parisi, Diego Manzoni
PLoS ONE. 2016-02-26; 11(2): e0148715
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148715

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De Cicco V(1), Barresi M(2), Tramonti Fantozzi MP(1), Cataldo E(3), Parisi V(4), Manzoni D(1).

Author information:
(1)Department of Translational Research, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
(2)Department of Drug Sciences, University of Catania, Catania, Italy.
(3)Department of Physics, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
(4)GB Bietti Foundation, IRCCS, Roma, Italy.

Several studies have demonstrated that chewing can be regarded as a preventive
measure for cognitive impairment, whereas masticatory deficiency, associated with
soft-diet feeding, is a risk factor for the development of dementia. At present
the link between orofacial sensorimotor activity and cognitive functions is
unknown. In subjects with unilateral molar loss we have shown asymmetries in both
pupil size and masticatory muscles electromyographic (EMG) activity during
clenching: the molar less side was characterized by a lower EMG activity and a
smaller pupil. Since implant-prostheses, greatly reduced both the asymmetry in
EMG activity and in pupil’s size, trigeminal unbalance, leading to unbalance in
the activity of the Locus Coeruleus (LC), may be responsible for the pupil’s
asymmetry. According to the findings obtained in animal models, we propose that
the different activity of the right and left LC may induce an asymmetry in brain
activity, thus leading to cognitive impairment. According to this hypothesis,
prostheses improved the performance in a complex sensorimotor task and increased
the mydriasis associated with haptic tasks. In conclusion, the present study
indicates that the implant-prosthesis therapy, which reduces the unbalance of
trigeminal proprioceptive afferents and the asymmetry in pupil’s size, may
improve arousal, boosting performance in a complex sensorimotor task.

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0148715
PMCID: PMC4771091
PMID: 26919258 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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