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Investigation on how dynamic effective connectivity patterns encode the fluctuating pain intensity in chronic migraine

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Chronic migraine is characterised by persistent headaches for more than 15 days per month; the intensity of the pain is fluctuating over time. Here, we explored the dynamic interplay of connectivity patterns between regions known to be related to pain processing and their relation to the ongoing dynamic pain experience. We recorded EEG from 80 sessions (20 chronic migraine patients in 4 separate sessions of 25 minutes). The patients were asked to continuously rate the intensity of their endogenous headache. On different time-windows, a dynamic causal model (DCM) of cross spectral responses was inverted to estimate connectivity strengths. For each patient and session, the evolving dynamics of effective connectivity were related to pain intensities and to pain intensity changes by using a Bayesian linear model. Hierarchical Bayesian modelling was further used to examine which connectivity-pain relations are consistent across sessions and across patients. The results reflect the multi-facetted clinical picture of the disease. Across all sessions, each patient with chronic migraine exhibited a distinct pattern of pain intensity-related cortical connectivity. The diversity of the individual findings are accompanied by inconsistent relations between the connectivity parameters and pain intensity or pain intensity changes at group level. This suggests a rejection of the idea of a common neuronal core problem for chronic migraine.
ISSN: 2452-073X
Volume: 12
Publication year:2022