Thickening of the somatosensory cortex in migraine without aura.

Cephalalgia : an international journal of headache

PubMedID: 24728304

Kim JH, Kim JB, Suh SI, Seo WK, Oh K, Koh SB. Thickening of the somatosensory cortex in migraine without aura. Cephalalgia. 2014;.
We aimed to explore cortical thickness abnormalities in a homogeneous group of patients with migraine without aura and to delineate possible relationships between cortical thickness changes and clinical variables.

Fifty-six female migraine patients without aura and T2-visible white matter hyperintensities and 34 female controls were scanned on a 3T magnetic resonance imager. Cortical thickness was estimated and compared between patients and controls using a whole-brain vertex-by-vertex analysis. Correlation analysis was conducted between cortical thickness of significant clusters and clinical variables.

Compared to controls, migraine patients had cortical thickening in left rostral middle frontal gyrus and bilateral post-central gyri. Region-of-interest analysis revealed cortical thickening of bilateral post-central gyri in migraine patients relative to controls. The average thickness of bilateral post-central gyri positively correlated with disease duration as well as estimated lifetime headache frequency.

We have provided evidence for interictal cortical abnormalities of thickened prefrontal cortex and somatosensory cortex in female migraine patients without aura. Our findings of greater thickening of the somatosensory cortex in relation to increasing disease duration and increasing headache frequency suggest that repeated migraine attacks over time may lead to structural changes of the somatosensory cortex through increased noxious afferent input within the trigemino-thalamo-cortical pathway in migraine.