Multimodal fusion analysis of structural connectivity and gray matter morphology in migraine

TitleMultimodal fusion analysis of structural connectivity and gray matter morphology in migraine
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsPlanchuelo-Gómez, Á., D. García-Azorín, Á. L. Guerrero, S. Aja-Fernández, M. Rodríguez, and R. de Luis-García
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
KeywordsBrain, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, connectome, diffusion magnetic resonance imaging, migraine disorders

No specific migraine biomarkers have been found in single-modality MRI studies. We aimed at establishing biomarkers for episodic and chronic migraine using diverse MRI modalities. We employed canonical correlation analysis and joint independent component analysis to find structural connectivity abnormalities that are related to gray matter morphometric alterations. The number of streamlines (trajectories of estimated fiber-tracts from tractography) was employed as structural connectivity measure, while cortical curvature, thickness, surface area, and volume were used as gray matter parameters. These parameters were compared between 56 chronic and 54 episodic migraine patients, and 50 healthy controls. Cortical curvature alterations were associated with abnormalities in the streamline count in episodic migraine patients compared to controls, with higher curvature values in the frontal and temporal poles being related to a higher streamline count. Lower streamline count was found in migraine compared to controls in connections between cortical regions within each of the four lobes. Higher streamline count was found in migraine in connections between subcortical regions, the insula, and the cingulate and orbitofrontal cortex, and between the insula and the temporal region. The connections between the caudate nucleus and the orbitofrontal cortex presented worse connectivity in chronic compared to episodic migraine. The hippocampus was involved in connections with higher and lower number of streamlines in chronic migraine. Strengthening of structural networks involving pain processing and subcortical regions coexists in migraine with weakening of cortical networks within each lobe. The multimodal analysis offers a new insight about the association between brain structure and connectivity.