JOURNAL ARTICLE

Decreased functional connectivity density in pain-related brain regions of female migraine patients without aura

Qing Gao, Fei Xu, Cui Jiang, Zhifeng Chen, Huafu Chen, Huaqiang Liao, Ling Zhao
Brain Research 2016 February 1, 1632: 73-81
26688226
Migraine is one of the most prevalent neurological disorders which is suggested to be associated with dysfunctions of the central nervous system. The purpose of the present study was to detect the altered functional connectivity architecture in the large-scale network of the whole brain in migraine without aura (MWoA). Meanwhile, the brain functional hubs which are targeted by MWoA could be identified. A new voxel-based method named functional connectivity density (FCD) mapping was applied to resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data of 55 female MWoA patients and 44 age-matched female healthy controls (HC). Comparing to HC, MWoA patients showed abnormal short-range FCD values in bilateral hippocampus, bilateral insula, right amygdale, right anterior cingulate cortex, bilateral putamen, bilateral caudate nucleus and the prefrontal cortex. The results suggested decreased intraregional connectivity of these pain-related brain regions in female MWoA. In addition, short-range FCD values in left prefrontal cortex, putamen and caudate nucleus were significantly negatively correlated with duration of disease in MWoA group, implying the repeated migraine attacks over time may consistently affect the resting-state functional connectivity architecture of these brain hubs. Our findings revealed the dysfunction of brain hubs in female MWoA, and suggested the left prefrontal cortex, putamen and caudate nucleus served as sensitive neuroimaging markers for reflecting the disease duration of female MWoA. This may provide us new insights into the changes in the organization of the large-scale brain network in MWoA.

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