AADR honors University of Maryland scientist for pain research Ronald Dubner.

AADR is pleased to present Dr. Dubner with the 2012 Distinguished Scientist Award, says AADR President Jeffrey Ebersole. Dubner’s contributions to the knowledge of the neurobiological mechanisms of orofacial severe and chronic discomfort and the capability to translate these results to improve health care have already been tremendous, and he is qualified because of this award uniquely. The AADA announcement further states, With trained in dentistry that was augmented with graduate training in neurophysiology, [Dubner’s] contributions to the understanding of the way the nervous system procedures and encodes information about acute and persistent pain are significant.Maternal exposure to valproic acid monotherapy through the first trimester was initially linked to an increased threat of congenital spina bifida in the 1980s1-6; subsequent tests confirmed this increased risk and in addition suggested increased risks of other main congenital malformations.7,8 Recently, the American Academy of Neurology suggested avoidance of valproic acid during pregnancy when possible.9 However, if treatment with valproic acid has been offering good seizure control, it could be difficult to change the drug before or during pregnancy.10,11 Although numerous cohort studies of women exposed to valproic acid in pregnancy have shown an association with a range of malformations,12-17 these studies have had limited power individually to detect excess risks of specific malformations.18 We combined the data from cohort studies to recognize indications that malformations were occurring at better frequency than expected among offspring exposed to valproic acid through the 1st trimester of pregnancy.