Resting-state fMRI functional connectivity: a new perspective to evaluate pain modulation in migraine?

Bruno Colombo, Maria Assunta Rocca, Roberta Messina, Simone Guerrieri, Massimo Filippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Resting-state (RS) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a relatively novel tool which explores connectivity between functionally linked, but anatomically separated, brain regions. The use of this technique has allowed the identification, at rest, of the main brain functional networks without requiring subjects to perform specific active tasks. Methodologically, several approaches can be applied for the analysis of RS fMRI, including seed-based, independent component analysis-based and/or cluster-based methods. The most consistently described RS network is the so-called “default mode network”. Using RS fMRI, several studies have identified functional connectivity abnormalities in migraine patients, mainly located at the level of the pain-processing network. RS functional connectivity is generally increased in pain-processing network, whereas is decreased in pain modulatory circuits. Significant abnormalities of RS functional connectivity occur also in affective networks, the default mode network and the executive control network. These results provide a strong characterization of migraine as a brain dysfunction affecting intrinsic connectivity of brain networks, possibly reflecting the impact of long lasting pain on brain function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-45
Number of pages5
JournalNeurological Sciences
Publication statusPublished - May 30 2015


  • Functional connectivity
  • Migraine
  • Pain
  • Resting-state functional MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Dermatology
  • Medicine(all)


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