Altered structure and resting-state functional connectivity of the basal ganglia in migraine patients without aura

Kai Yuan, Ling Zhao, Ping Cheng, Dahua Yu, Limei Zhao, Tao Dong, Lihong Xing, Yanzhi Bi, Xuejuan Yang, Karen M von Deneen, Fanrong Liang, Qiyong Gong, Wei Qin, Jie Tian
Journal of Pain: Official Journal of the American Pain Society 2013, 14 (8): 836-44

UNLABELLED: The aim of this study was to investigate the relevance of the basal ganglia (BG) in pathogenesis of migraine by assessing the abnormal volume and resting-state networks of the BG in migraine patients without aura (MWoA). The volume of the subsets in the BG was compared between 40 MWoA and 40 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. The resting-state functional connectivity of BG subsets with abnormal volume was also investigated. Reduced volume in the left caudate and the right nucleus accumbens (NAc) was detected in the migraine group compared with healthy controls; meanwhile, increased functional connectivity between the BG and several brain regions within nociceptive and somatosensory processing pathways was observed. Correlation analysis revealed significant correlations between the volume of the bilateral caudate and right NAc and disease duration. In addition, an increased monthly frequency of migraine attack was associated with increased functional connectivity between the bilateral caudate and left insula, and longer disease duration was correlated with increased functional connectivity between the right NAc and bilateral anterior cingulate cortex. Our results revealed abnormal volume of BG and dysfunctional dynamics during interictal resting state within pain pathways of the BG in MWoA, which validated the association between the BG and migraine.

PERSPECTIVE: Our findings revealed the presence of reduced volume in NAc and caudate of the BG and interictal dysfunctional dynamics within BG networks in MWoA. The abnormal structure and function within the pain-related pathways of the BG were possibly associated with impaired pain processing and modulatory processes in MWoA.

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