Increased connectivity of pain matrix in chronic migraine: a resting-state functional MRI study
The Journal of Headache and Pain
Objective: To investigate the whole-brain resting-state functional connectivity in patients with chronic migraine (CM) using a data-driven method. Methods: We prospectively recruited patients with either episodic migraine (EM) or CM aged 18-60 years who visited the headache clinic of the Samsung Medical Center from July 2016 to December 2017. All patients underwent 3 T MRI using an identical scanner. Patients were considered interictal if they did not have a migraine headache at the day and ± 1
... days of functional MRI acquisition. Using the group-independent component analysis (ICA), connectivity analysis with a weighted and undirected network model was performed. The between-group differences in degree centrality (DC) values were assessed using 5000 permutation tests corrected with false discovery rate (FDR). Results: A total of 62 patients (44 EM and 18 CM) were enrolled in this study. Among the seven functionally interpretable spatially independent components (ICs) identified, only one IC, interpreted as the pain matrix, showed a significant between-group difference in DC (CM > EM, p = 0.046). This association remained significant after adjustment for age, sex, migraine with aura (MWA), allodynia, depression, and anxiety (p = 0.038). The pain matrix was functionally correlated with the hypothalamus (p = 0.040, EM > CM) and dorsal raphe nucleus (p = 0.039, CM > EM) with different levels of strength in EM and CM. Conclusion: CM patients have a stronger connectivity in the pain matrix than do EM patients. Functional alteration of the pain network might play a role in migraine chronification.