We wish you and your family a joyous holiday season and healthy year ahead. Year's end is the time we reflect upon the past and look to the future. We are grateful for your moral and financial support that resulted in several impressive accomplishments in 2014.
The highlight of the year was our seventh scientific meeting, Genetic, Epigenetic, and Mechanistic Studies of Temporomandibular Disorders and Overlapping Pain Conditions. The meeting was cosponsored by agencies of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the recommendations from this high-caliber scientific meeting will direct future research on Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) and overlapping pain conditions. The meeting report and abstracts have been published in the journal, Molecular Pain.
Another result of our advocacy efforts is the NIH funding opportunity for comprehensive research on the Biology of the Temporomandibular Joint, which will lead to a better understanding of total joint structure and mechanics including the interactions of the skeletal, muscular, nervous, immune, and circulatory systems using new in vivo and in vitro models is needed. An expected outcome is new knowledge that will provide a basis for developing novel approaches to prevent, diagnose, assess risk, and treat TMD.
The TMJ Association has been at the forefront in highlighting the fact that over 85% of TMD patients have other chronic pain conditions. The TMJA joined forces with several patient advocacy organizations to form the Chronic Pain Research Alliance (CPRA), the country's first and only research-led collaborative advocacy effort dedicated to addressing chronic overlapping pain conditions. In June, the NIH posted a funding opportunity to encourage research that will increase our understanding of multiple chronic pain conditions (including TMD) for people with pain.
In 2015, we will continue our advocacy, information dissemination, patient support and education efforts on TMD and those conditions that coexist with TMD. Over the past 10 years, we have moved TMJ science from the doldrums to cutting edge. TMD is no longer merely about teeth and jaws but rather a complex disease with many contributing factors, including painful conditions in other parts of the body-even the whole body. This new knowledge will be a game-changer in how TMD is diagnosed and treated. However, patients continue to be harmed because this science has not been translated to their primary care physician's office, nor their dentist's. Our next step is to explore ways to bring the science to health care providers.
With your financial contributions, imagine what we can accomplish together in 2015!
With sincere gratitude,
President & Co-founder
©2015 The TMJ Association, Ltd. All rights