Sub-cortical sources of the somatosensory pathway are hypoactive in migraine interictally: a Functional Source Separation analysis

Camillo Porcaro, Giorgio di Lorenzo, Stefano Seri, Francesco Pierelli, Franca Tecchio, Gianluca Coppola*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstractpeer-review


Background: Recent morpho-functional evidence pointed out that abnormalities in the thalamus could play a major role in the expression of migraine neurophysiological and clinical correlates. Whether this phenomenon is primary or secondary to its functional disconnection from the brainstem remains to be determined. We used a Functional Source Separation algorithm of EEG signal to extract the activity of the different neuronal pools recruited at different latencies along the somatosensory pathway in interictal migraine without aura (MO) patients.
Methods: Twenty MO patients and 20 healthy volunteers (HV) underwent EEG recording. Four ad-hoc functional constraints, two sub-cortical (FS14 at brainstem and FS16 at thalamic level) and two cortical (FS20 radial and FS22 tangential parietal sources), were used to extract the activity of successive stages of somatosensory information processing in response to the separate left and right median nerve electric stimulation. A band-pass digital filter (450-750 Hz) was applied offline in order to extract high-frequency oscillatory (HFO) activity from the broadband EEG signal.
Results: In both stimulated sides, significant reduced sub-cortical brainstem (FS14) and thalamic (FS16) HFO activations characterized MO patients when compared with HV. No difference emerged in the two cortical HFO activations between the two groups.
Conclusions: Present results are the first neurophysiological evidence supporting the hypothesis that a functional disconnection of the thalamus from the subcortical monoaminergic system may underline the interictal cortical abnormal information processing in migraine. Further studies are needed to investigate the precise directional connectivity across the entire primary subcortical and cortical somatosensory pathway in interictal MO.
Written informed consent to publication was obtained from the patient(s).
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA55
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Headache and Pain
Issue numberSuppl.1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Event1st joint ANIRCEF-SISC congress - Rome, Italy
Duration: 29 Oct 201531 Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

© Porcaro et al. 2015
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://​creativecommons.​org/​publicdomain/​zero/​1.​0/​) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

1st joint ANIRCEF-SISC congress


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