Disrupted default mode network connectivity in migraine without aura

Alessandro Tessitore, Antonio Russo, Alfonso Giordano, Francesca Conte, Daniele Corbo, Manuela De Stefano, Sossio Cirillo, Mario Cirillo, Fabrizio Esposito, Gioacchino Tedeschi
Journal of Headache and Pain 2013 November 8, 14: 89

BACKGROUND: Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (RS-fMRI) has demonstrated disrupted default mode network (DMN) connectivity in a number of pain conditions, including migraine. However, the significance of altered resting-state brain functional connectivity in migraine is still unknown. The present study is aimed to explore DMN functional connectivity in patients with migraine without aura (MwoA) and investigate its clinical significance.

METHODS: To calculate and compare the resting-state functional connectivity of the DMN in 20 patients with MwoA, during the interictal period, and 20 gender- and age-matched HC, Brain Voyager QX was used. Voxel-based morphometry was used to assess whether between-group differences in DMN functional connectivity were related to structural differences. Secondary analyses explored associations between DMN functional connectivity, clinical and neuropsychological features of migraineurs.

RESULTS: In comparison to HC, patients with MwoA showed decreased connectivity in prefrontal and temporal regions of the DMN. Functional abnormalities were unrelated to detectable structural abnormalities or clinical and neuropsychological features of migraineurs.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides further evidence of disrupted DMN connectivity in patients with MwoA. We hypothesize that a DMN dysfunction may be related to behavioural processes such as a maladaptive response to stress which seems to characterize patients with migraine.

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