Abnormal thalamocortical network dynamics in migraine

Yiheng Tu, Zening Fu, Fang Zeng, Nasim Maleki, Lei Lan, Zhengjie Li, Joel Park, Georgia Wilson, Yujie Gao, Mailan Liu, Vince Calhoun, Fanrong Liang, Jian Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To investigate the dynamic functional connectivity of thalamocortical networks in interictal migraine patients and whether clinical features are associated with abnormal connectivity. Methods: We investigated dynamic functional network connectivity (dFNC) of the migraine brain in 89 interictal migraine patients and 70 healthy controls. We focused on the temporal properties of thalamocortical connectivity using sliding window cross-correlation, clustering state analysis, and graph-theory methods. Relationships between clinical symptoms and abnormal dFNC were evaluated using a multivariate linear regression model. Results: Five dFNC brain states were identified to characterize and compare dynamic functional connectivity patterns. We demonstrated that migraineurs spent more time in a strongly interconnected between-network state, but they spent less time in a sparsely connected state. Interestingly, we found that abnormal posterior thalamus (pulvinar nucleus) dFNC with the visual cortex and the precuneus were significantly correlated with headache frequency of migraine. Further topologic measures revealed that migraineurs had significantly lower efficiency of information transfer in both global and local dFNC. Conclusion: Our results demonstrated a transient pathologic state with atypical thalamocortical connectivity in migraineurs and extended current findings regarding abnormal thalamocortical networks and dysrhythmia in migraine. Glossary: AUC = area under the curve; AUD = auditory domain; CC = cognitive control domain; dFNC = dynamic functional network connectivity; DM = default mode domain; FC = functional connectivity; FDR = false discovery rate; GICA = group independent component analysis; HC = healthy controls; ICHD = International Classification of Headache Disorders; ICN = intrinsic component network; IRB = institutional review board; MIG = migraine without aura patients; MNI = Montreal Neurologic Institute; rsFC = resting-state functional connectivity; SAS = self-rating anxiety scale; SC = subcortical domain; SDS = self-rating depression scale; SM = sensorimotor domain; TCD = thalamocortical dysrhythmia; TE = echo time; TR = repetition time; VS = visual domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E2706-E2716
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jan 8 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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