Altered cognition-related brain activity and interactions with acute pain in migraine

Vani A. Mathur, Shariq A. Khan, Michael L. Keaser, Catherine S. Hubbard, Madhav Goyal, David A. Seminowicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Little is known about the effect of migraine on neural cognitive networks. However, cognitive dysfunction is increasingly being recognized as a comorbidity of chronic pain. Pain appears to affect cognitive ability and the function of cognitive networks over time, and decrements in cognitive function can exacerbate affective and sensory components of pain. We investigated differences in cognitive processing and pain-cognition interactions between 14 migraine patients and 14 matched healthy controls using an fMRI block-design with two levels of task difficulty and concurrent heat (painful and not painful) stimuli. Across groups, cognitive networks were recruited in response to a difficult cognitive task, and a pain-task interaction was found in the right (contralateral to pain stimulus) posterior insula (pINS), such that activity was modulated by decreasing the thermal pain stimulus or by engaging the difficult cognitive task. Migraine patients had less task-related deactivation within the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and left dorsal anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC) compared to controls. These regions have been reported to have decreased cortical thickness and cognitive-related deactivation within other pain populations, and are also associated with pain regulation, suggesting that the current findings may reflect altered cognitive function and top-down regulation of pain. During pain conditions, patients had decreased task-related activity, but more widespread task-related reductions in pain-related activity, compared to controls, suggesting cognitive resources may be diverted from task-related to pain-reduction-related processes in migraine. Overall, these findings suggest that migraine is associated with altered cognitive-related neural activity, which may reflect altered pain regulatory processes as well as broader functional restructuring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-358
Number of pages12
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Acute Pain
Migraine Disorders
Cognition
Pain
Brain
Hot Temperature
Aptitude
Prefrontal Cortex
Chronic Pain
Comorbidity
Down-Regulation
Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Keywords

  • Chronic pain
  • Cognitive networks
  • Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • fMRI
  • Pain-cognition interaction
  • Posterior insula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology

Cite this

Altered cognition-related brain activity and interactions with acute pain in migraine. / Mathur, Vani A.; Khan, Shariq A.; Keaser, Michael L.; Hubbard, Catherine S.; Goyal, Madhav; Seminowicz, David A.

In: NeuroImage: Clinical, Vol. 7, 2015, p. 347-358.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Mathur, Vani A. ; Khan, Shariq A. ; Keaser, Michael L. ; Hubbard, Catherine S. ; Goyal, Madhav ; Seminowicz, David A. / Altered cognition-related brain activity and interactions with acute pain in migraine. In: NeuroImage: Clinical. 2015 ; Vol. 7. pp. 347-358.
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