Brain morphologic abnormalities in migraine patients: An observational study

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Background: Migraine is a common neurological disorder characterized by a complex physiopathology. We assessed brain morphologic differences in migraine and the possible pathogenetic mechanism underlying this disease. Methods: We analyzed brain morphologic images of migraine patients, 14 with aura (MwA) [the mean (SD) age was 42.36 (2.95) years (range, 37-47)] and 14 without aura (MwoA) [the mean (SD) age was 43.5 (3.25) years (range, 39-50)] during episodic attack compared with health subjects balanced (HS) [the mean (SD) age was 42.5 (5.17) years (range, 34-51)]. All subjects underwent a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) examination with a scanner operating at 3.0 T and voxel based morphometry (VBM) approach was used to examine the gray matter volume (GMV). The statistical analysis to compare clinicl characteristics was performed using unpaired t-test an one-way Anova. Results: Total cerebral GMV showed a significant difference between MwA and HS (p = 0.02), and between MwoA and HS (p = 0.003). In addition, not significative differences were found between MwA and MwoA groups (p = 0.17). We found three clusters of regions which showed significant GMV reduction in MwA compared with MwoA. MwA subjects showed a less of GMV in 4 clusters if compared with HS, and MwoA subjects showed a less of GMV in 3 clusters if compared with HS. We observed that MwA and MwoA patients had a significant reduction of GMV in the frontal and temporal lobe and the cerebellum, if compared to HS. The bilateral fusiform gyrus and the cingulate gyrus were increase in MwoA patients compared with HS. Conclusion: Our findings could provide a approach to understand possible differences in the pathogenesis of two type of migraine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number39
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Headache and Pain
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 25 2020


  • Aura
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Migraine
  • No Aura
  • Voxel-based Morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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