Disrupted Default Mode Network Seen In Migraineurs W/o Aura: Study

Neural Netwoork

The Default Mode Network Shows Functional Disruptions For Migraineurs W/o Aura (1)

A recent study published in The Journal of Headache and Pain spoke of disrupted default mode network in migraineurs. The study used specialized imaging device, the RS-fMRI or the Resting State functional MRI to show the disrupted network in pain conditions including migraines.

The research departments of five institutes were involved in this groundbreaking study – Department of Neurology, Second University of Naples, Institute for Diagnosis and Care “Hermitage Capodimonte”, Neuro-radiology Service, Second University of Naples, Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands, and Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Salerno.

A default mode network or DMN is the arrangement of connections of different brain regions which are active when a person is not focussed on something yet is in wakeful rest state. At such a state, the default mode network takes over and it is characterized by coherent neuronal oscillations at a rate lower than 0.1 Hz (2). However, when the mind is focussed on to something like task completion activities, the DMN is automatically de-activated and another network known as the Task Positive Network or TPN is activated.

The study was aimed at finding the DMN functional connectivity in migraineurs without aura and see if it was clinically relevant. Two groups were used in the study population – 20 patients with migraines without aura and 20 gender and age-matched healthy controls were studied. The imaging and tracking tools used were Brain Voyager QX. Voxel-based morphometry was used to assess whether between-group differences in DMN functional connectivity were related to structural differences.

The study exhibited that there was a significant reduction in the connectivity at the prefrontal and temporal regions of the default network (DMN) for the migraineurs without aura. However, there was no correlation of these findings with the fact if the migraineurs had any structural abnormalities or clinical and neuropsychological features.

As per the research correspondent Alessandro Tessitore, “We hypothesize that a DMN dysfunction may be related to behavioural processes such as a maladaptive response to stress which seems to characterize patients with migraine.” (3)

To view details of this study, you may access the Springer’s Open Access pdf file: http://www.thejournalofheadacheandpain.com/content/pdf/1129-2377-14-89.pdf


  1.  Image Credits: Neuron by Renjith Krishnan; FreeDigitalPhotos,net; Web November 2013; http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Human_body_g281-Neuron_p125335.html
  2. Default Mode Network; Wikipedia; Web November 2013; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Default_mode_network
  3. Disrupted default mode network connectivity in migraine without aura; 7thSpaceInteractive; Web November 2013; http://7thspace.com/headlines/446815/disrupted_default_mode_network_connectivity_in_migraine_without_aura.html

Copyrights apply to this blog. Please refer copyright permissions.