Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


"New" Neck Discovery Hits Gray's, Offers Clue to Tension Headaches

Maryland Dental School 1995 discovery of previously unknown neck tissue finally makes ultimate reference book, Gray's Anatomy.

After evoking much surprise and polite skepticism from anatomists worldwide, a 1995 discovery of a previously unknown connective neck tissue by researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore has made Gray¡¯s Anatomy, at last.

The latest Gray's Anatomy, its 150th anniversary edition, is known worldwide as an essential reference for medical students, and, health care professionals.

Delayed tribute for a new discovery is understandable in a field where anatomists have been rigorously studying the human body for more than 500 years, said co-discoverer Gary Hack, DDS, associate professor at the University of Maryland Dental School.

Hack and his colleagues found the ¡®new¡¯ muscle-dura connective tissue while using an unusual dissecting approach to examine head and neck muscles in cadavers. They supported their discovery through digital cadaver images from the National Institutes of Health¡¯s (NIH) Visible Human Project. The newly discovered tissue connects a deep neck muscle to a highly sensitive covering called the dura that covers the brain and spinal cord.

The researchers suggest that their finding may help explain the relationship between muscle tension and headaches. They speculate that the connection may transmit pressure from the neck muscles to the pain-sensitive dura and possibly lead to certain headaches. Gray¡¯s states, ¡°There is usually a soft-tissue attachment to the posterior atlanto-occipital membrane, which itself is firmly attached to the spinal dura in the same area.¡±

Shortly after their discovery¦¡as if surprising the world¡¯s anatomists once was not enough¦¡Hack and his colleagues, while studying muscles that affect chewing, also uncovered a jaw muscle that had never been described as separate and distinct from the many other jaw muscles. Hack thinks the ¡®new¡¯ muscle had been observed many times before, but was thought to be part of known chewing muscles. The new muscle, called sphenomandibularis, may be a fifth chewing muscle.

The muscle has not yet appeared in Gray¡¯s Anatomy. But after a similar chorus of skepticism in some medical journals, the 1 ¨ö inch long muscle has gotten its share of props. Sphenomandibularis is described in the Textbook of Head and Neck Anatomy, one of the leading medical textbooks. It has been recognized by the 1998 Medical and Health Annual of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the book Staging Anatomies:Dissection and Spectacle in Early Stuart Tragedy by Hillary Nunn, in a poem called Claudia Gary Annis, and in articles in The New York Times and Discovery. The muscle was also a clue on the TV show, Jeopardy: ¡°In 1996 Gary Hack discovered the sphenomandibularis...which is one of these.¡± The correct answer: ¡°What is a muscle?¡±

Hack¡¯s team included Baltimore orthodontist Gwendolyn Dunn, DDS; Mi Young Toh, MS, MA, a biomedical imaging researcher at the national Library of Medicine; neurosurgeon Walker Robinson, MD; and Richard Koritzer, DDS, MLA, PhD, an adjunct research associate at the Dental School.

Steve Berberich | Newswise Science News
Further information:

Further reports about: Anatomy DDS Discovery Gray's Anatomy headaches neck sphenomandibularis

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>