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PLoS One. 2014 Apr 17;9(4):e95508. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0095508. eCollection 2014.

Altered hypothalamic functional connectivity with autonomic circuits and the locus coeruleus in migraine.

Author information

1
Pain/Analgesia Imaging Neuroscience (P.A.I.N.) Group, Department of Anesthesia, Boston Children's Hospital, Center for Pain and the Brain, Harvard Medical School, Waltham, Massachusetts, United States of America.
2
Pain/Analgesia Imaging Neuroscience (P.A.I.N.) Group, Department of Anesthesia, Boston Children's Hospital, Center for Pain and the Brain, Harvard Medical School, Waltham, Massachusetts, United States of America; Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts, United States of America.
3
Anaesthesia & Critical Care, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.
4
Pain/Analgesia Imaging Neuroscience (P.A.I.N.) Group, Department of Anesthesia, Boston Children's Hospital, Center for Pain and the Brain, Harvard Medical School, Waltham, Massachusetts, United States of America; Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts, United States of America; P.A.I.N. Group, Department of Psychiatry, McLean Hospital, Center for Pain and the Brain, Harvard Medical School, Belmont, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Abstract

The hypothalamus has been implicated in migraine based on the manifestation of autonomic symptoms with the disease, as well as neuroimaging evidence of hypothalamic activation during attacks. Our objective was to determine functional connectivity (FC) changes between the hypothalamus and the rest of the brain in migraine patients vs. control subjects. This study uses fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) to acquire resting state scans in 12 interictal migraine patients and 12 healthy matched controls. Hypothalamic connectivity seeds were anatomically defined based on high-resolution structural scans, and FC was assessed in the resting state scans. Migraine patients had increased hypothalamic FC with a number of brain regions involved in regulation of autonomic functions, including the locus coeruleus, caudate, parahippocampal gyrus, cerebellum, and the temporal pole. Stronger functional connections between the hypothalamus and brain areas that regulate sympathetic and parasympathetic functions may explain some of the hypothalamic-mediated autonomic symptoms that accompany or precede migraine attacks.

PMID:
24743801
PMCID:
PMC3990690
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0095508
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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