Altered pain modulation and resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) were found to be related to migraine pathology and clinical manifestation. We examined how pain modulation psychophysical measures are related to resting-state networks and rsFC between bottom-up and top-down pain modulation areas. Thirty-two episodic migraineurs and 23 age-matched healthy individuals underwent temporal summation of pain (TSOP) and conditioned pain modulation (CPM) tests, followed by a resting-state imaging scan. No differences in temporal summation of pain and CPM were found between groups. However, in healthy individuals, more efficient CPM was correlated with 1) stronger rsFCs of the posterior cingulate cortex, with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and with the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex; 2) weaker rsFC of the anterior insula with the angular gyrus. Conversely, in migraineurs, the association between CPM and rsFC was altered. Our results suggest that the functional connectivity within the default mode network (DMN) components and the functional coupling between the DMN and pain inhibitory brain areas is linked with pain inhibition efficiency. In migraineurs, this interplay is changed, yet enables normal pain inhibition. Our findings shed light on potential functional adaptation of the DMN and its role in pain inhibition in health and migraine. Perspective: This article establishes evidence for the relationship between the resting-state brain and individual responses in psychophysical pain modulation tests, in both migraine and healthy individuals. The results emphasize the significant role of the default mode network in maintaining pain inhibition efficiency in health and in the presence of chronic pain.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was financially supported by the United States–Israel Binational Science Foundation , grant number 2009097 .
© 2020 United States Association for the Study of Pain, Inc.
- Conditioned pain modulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine