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Aberrant temporal and spatial brain activity during rest in patients with chronic pain
Sanna Malinen, Nuutti Vartiainen, Yevhen Hlushchuk, Miika Koskinen, Pavan Ramkumar, Nina Forss, Eija Kalso and Riitta Hari
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 107, No. 14 (April 6, 2010), pp. 6493-6497
Published by: National Academy of Sciences
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25665196
Page Count: 5
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In the absence of external stimuli, human hemodynamic brain activity displays slow intrinsic variations. To find out whether such fluctuations would be altered by persistent pain, we asked 10 patients with unrelenting chronic pain of different etiologies and 10 sex- and age-matched control subjects to rest with eyes open during 3-T functional MRI. Independent component analysis was used to identify functionally coupled brain networks. Time courses of an independent component comprising the insular cortices of both hemispheres showed stronger spectral power at 0.12 to 0.25 Hz in patients than in control subjects, with the largest difference at 0.16 Hz. A similar but weaker effect was seen in the anterior cingulate cortex, whereas activity of the precuneus and early visual cortex, used as a control site, did not differ between the groups. In the patient group, seed point-based correlation analysis revealed altered spatial connectivity between insulae and anterior cingulate cortex. The results imply both temporally and spatially aberrant activity of the affective pain-processing areas in patients suffering from chronic pain. The accentuated 0.12- to 0.25-Hz fluctuations in the patient group might be related to altered activity of the autonomic nervous system.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America © 2010 National Academy of Sciences