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44th Scientific Meeting
Update on Health, TMD and Sleep from a Global Perspective

May 7-10, 2020 • Orlando

Pre-Conference Workshop I: Nutrition and Health

Paul Durham, PhD

Thursday, May 7, 2020 — 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

SYNOPSIS: Our overall health and well-being are directly related to our dietary choices. Poor choices equal poor health while good choices promote and maintain health of all our physiological systems and minimize inflammation. This includes not only what foods we eat but also what beverages we consume daily since both contribute key nutrients and molecules to minimize inflammation, boost cellular function and protect our proteins, DNA, and lipids from damage. Yet, we are experiencing a global epidemic of obesity and diabetes. Equally alarming is the report that 30% of Americans are living with some form of severe or chronic pain, which means that more people are living in chronic pain than with cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined. Hence, despite almost year-round access to foods from all over the world, our overall health is declining, and more people are living in chronic pain. These pathological conditions are mediated by changes at the cellular and molecular levels and are greatly influenced by our diet. Dr. Paul Durham will review the importance and benefit of consuming nutritional foods enriched in polyphenols and natural fiber and beverages with high antioxidant capacity to promote the health of our cells as well as commensal oral and intestinal bacteria. In addition, he will provide information on the essential role of minerals, vitamins, and micronutrients, for maintaining basic cellular functions. Examples will be provided regarding how dietary supplements can significantly alter and even reverse disease progression and help to manage chronic pain and inflammation. Current findings will be shared on dietary supplements reported to improve oral health and function to directly modulate the activity of trigeminal neurons and glial cells.

Meet our outstanding presenter. Dr. Paul Durham is distinguished professor of biology and director of Missouri State University’s Center for Biomedical and Life Sciences, a multidisciplinary laboratory that utilizes cellular/molecular, microbiological, biochemical and chemical techniques. A primary goal of his research is to determine the signaling pathways by which inflammatory and anti-inflammatory agents control neuropeptide gene expression in disorders involving the trigeminal nerve.

Currently, he is studying the regulation of protein expression in cultured nerve and glial cells, human cell lines, in vivo animal models and clinical studies. A major focus of his research has been to elucidate the cellular/molecular mechanisms by which novel drugs and nutraceuticals modulate the excitability state of neurons and glial cells under pathological conditions in models of migraine, TMJ disorder and epilepsy. More recently, his laboratory has been investigating epigenetic mechanisms and changes in gut microbiota in response to changes in diet, sleep pattern, stress and chronic inflammation.

Durham is frequently invited as a guest lecturer. He has authored or co-authored 80 peer-reviewed research publications, numerous book chapters and technical reports, and 160 published abstracts. He has received nearly $14 million in external grants to support his research. In addition, Durham has served on numerous National Institutes of Health (NIH) study sections and advisory boards, and is currently a reviewer for 15 different journals.

Meeting Recordings