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Cephalalgia. 2018 Jun;38(7):1237-1244. doi: 10.1177/0333102417729113. Epub 2017 Aug 30.

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

Author information

1
1 Danish Headache Center, Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet Glostrup, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
2
2 Department of Neurology and Medical Image Analysis Center, University Hospital, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
3
3 Department of Neurology, DKD Helios Klinik Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, Germany.
4
4 Department of Radiology, Rigshospitalet, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
5
5 Functional Imaging Unit, Department of Clinical Physiology, Nuclear Medicine and PET, Rigshospitalet, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Abstract

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.

KEYWORDS:

Migraine thalamus; migraine imaging; migraine pathophysiology; migraine resting-state fMRI

PMID:
28853611
DOI:
10.1177/0333102417729113

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