Hierarchical alteration of brain structural and functional networks in female migraine sufferers.

PLoS ONE. 2012;7(12):e51250 DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0051250

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: PLoS ONE

ISSN: 1932-6203 (Online)

Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)

LCC Subject Category: Medicine | Science

Country of publisher: United States

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML, XML

 

AUTHORS

Jixin Liu
Ling Zhao
Guoying Li
Shiwei Xiong
Jiaofen Nan
Jing Li
Kai Yuan
Karen M von Deneen
Fanrong Liang
Wei Qin
Jie Tian

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 24 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

BACKGROUND: Little is known about the changes of brain structural and functional connectivity networks underlying the pathophysiology in migraine. We aimed to investigate how the cortical network reorganization is altered by frequent cortical overstimulation associated with migraine. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Gray matter volumes and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging signal correlations were employed to construct structural and functional networks between brain regions in 43 female patients with migraine (PM) and 43 gender-matched healthy controls (HC) by using graph theory-based approaches. Compared with the HC group, the patients showed abnormal global topology in both structural and functional networks, characterized by higher mean clustering coefficients without significant change in the shortest absolute path length, which indicated that the PM lost optimal topological organization in their cortical networks. Brain hubs related to pain-processing revealed abnormal nodal centrality in both structural and functional networks, including the precentral gyrus, orbital part of the inferior frontal gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, anterior cingulate gyrus, thalamus, temporal pole of the middle temporal gyrus and the inferior parietal gyrus. Negative correlations were found between migraine duration and regions with abnormal centrality. Furthermore, the dysfunctional connections in patients' cortical networks formed into a connected component and three dysregulated modules were identified involving pain-related information processing and motion-processing visual networks. CONCLUSIONS: Our results may reflect brain alteration dynamics resulting from migraine and suggest that long-term and high-frequency headache attacks may cause both structural and functional connectivity network reorganization. The disrupted information exchange between brain areas in migraine may be reshaped into a hierarchical modular structure progressively.