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Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 9;7:41919. doi: 10.1038/srep41919.

Visual cortex and cerebellum hyperactivation during negative emotion picture stimuli in migraine patients.

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Shanghai Key Laboratory of Magnetic Resonance and Department of Physics, School of Physics and Materials Science, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China.
Department of Neurology and Jiuyuan Municipal Stroke Center, Shanghai Ninth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200011, China.


Migraines are a common and undertreated disease and often have psychiatric comorbidities; however, the abnormal mechanism of emotional processing in migraine patients has not been well clarified. This study sought to investigate the different brain functional activation to neutral, positive and negative emotional stimuli between migraine and healthy subjects. Twenty-six adults with migraines and 26 healthy adults, group-matched for sex and age, participated in this experiment. Although there were no significant differences between two groups during the viewing of positive affective pictures vs. neutral affective pictures, there were different activation patterns during the viewing of negative to neutral affective pictures in the two groups; the control group showed both increased and decreased activation patterns, while the migraine subjects showed only increased activation. Negative affective pictures elicited stronger activation than neutral affective pictures in migraineurs, which included the bilateral cerebellum anterior lobe/culmen, the bilateral lingual gyri, the bilateral precuneus and the left cuneus. Our data indicated that migraine patients were hypersensitive to negative stimuli, which might provide clues to aid in the understanding of the pathophysiology and psychiatric comorbidities of migraines.

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