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Altered thalamic connectivity during spontaneous attacks of migraine without aura: A resting-state fMRI study

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Background Functional connectivity of brain networks may be altered in migraine without aura patients. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have demonstrated changed activity in the thalamus, pons and cerebellum in migraineurs. Here, we investigated the thalamic, pontine and cerebellar network connectivity during spontaneous migraine attacks. Methods Seventeen patients with episodic migraine without aura underwent resting-state fMRI scan during and outside of a spontaneous migraine attack. Primary endpoint was a difference in functional connectivity between the attack and the headache-free days. Functional connectivity was assessed in four different networks using seed-based analysis. The chosen seeds were in the thalamus (MNI coordinates x,y,z: right, 22,-24,0 and left, -22,-28,6), pons (right, 8,-24,-32 and left, -8,-24,-32), cerebellum crus I (right, 46,-58,-30 and left, -46,-58,-30) and cerebellum lobule VI (right, 34,-42,-36 and left, -32,-42,-36). Results We found increased functional connectivity between the right thalamus and several contralateral brain regions (superior parietal lobule, insular cortex, primary motor cortex, supplementary motor area and orbitofrontal cortex). There was decreased functional connectivity between the right thalamus and three ipsilateral brain areas (primary somatosensory cortex and premotor cortex). We found no change in functional connectivity in the pontine or the cerebellar networks. Conclusions The study indicates that network connectivity between thalamus and pain modulating as well as pain encoding cortical areas are affected during spontaneous migraine attacks.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCephalalgia : an international journal of headache
Volume38
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1237-1244
ISSN0333-1024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 52192674