Somatotopically specific primary somatosensory connectivity to salience and default mode networks encodes clinical pain.
ABSTRACT: Although several studies have found that chronic pain is characterized by increased cross-network connectivity between salience network, sensorimotor network, and default mode network (DMN), a large sample-size investigation allowing for a more reliable evaluation of somatotopic specificity and subgroup analyses with linkage to clinical pain intensity has been lacking. We enrolled healthy adults and a large cohort of patients (N = 181) suffering from chronic low back pain (cLBP). To specifically link brain connectivity with clinical pain intensity, patients were scanned at baseline and after performing physical maneuvers that exacerbated pain. Compared with healthy adults, patients with cLBP demonstrated increased connectivity between the functionally localized back representation in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1back) and both salience network and DMN. Pain exacerbation maneuvers increased S1back connectivity to salience network regions, but decreased connectivity to DMN, with greater pain intensity increase associated with greater shifts in these connectivity patterns. Furthermore, only in patients with cLBP reporting high pain catastrophizing, DMN connectivity was increased to a cardinal node of the salience network, anterior insula cortex, which was correlated with increased postmaneuver pain in this cLBP subgroup. Hence, increased information transfer between salience processing regions, particularly anterior insula, and DMN may be strongly influenced by pain catastrophizing. Increased information transfer between the salience network and S1 likely plays an important role in shifting nociceptive afference away from self-referential processing, reallocating attentional focus, and affective coding of nociceptive afference from specific body areas. These results demonstrate S1 somatotopic specificity for cross-network connectivity in encoding clinical back pain and moderating influence of catastrophizing for DMN/insula connectivity.
Project description:Neural network investigations are currently absent in adolescent chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). In this study, we examine whether the core intrinsic connectivity networks (ICNs) are altered in adolescent CFS patients. Eighteen adolescent patients with CFS and 18 aged matched healthy adolescent control subjects underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rfMRI). Data was analyzed using dual-regression independent components analysis, which is a data-driven approach for the identification of independent brain networks. Intrinsic connectivity was evaluated in the default mode network (DMN), salience network (SN), and central executive network (CEN). Associations between network characteristics and symptoms of CFS were also explored. Adolescent CFS patients displayed a significant decrease in SN functional connectivity to the right posterior insula compared to healthy comparison participants, which was related to fatigue symptoms. Additionally, there was an association between pain intensity and SN functional connectivity to the left middle insula and caudate that differed between adolescent patients and healthy comparison participants. Our findings of insula dysfunction and its association with fatigue severity and pain intensity in adolescent CFS demonstrate an aberration of the salience network which might play a role in CFS pathophysiology.
Project description:In schizophrenia, consistent structural and functional changes have been demonstrated for the insula including aberrant salience processing, which is critical for psychosis. Interactions within and across default mode and central executive network (DMN, CEN) are impaired in schizophrenia. The question arises whether these 2 types of changes are related. Recently, the anterior insula has been demonstrated to control DMN/CEN interactions. We hypothesized that aberrant insula and DMN/CEN activity in schizophrenia is associated with an impaired dependence of DMN/CEN interactions on anterior insular salience network (SN) activity. Eighteen patients with schizophrenia during psychosis and 20 healthy controls were studied by resting-state-fMRI and psychometric examination. High-model-order independent component analysis of fMRI data revealed spatiotemporal patterns of synchronized ongoing blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) activity including SN, DMN, and CEN. Scores of functional and time-lagged connectivity across networks' time courses were calculated. Connectivity scores and spatial network maps were compared between groups and related with patients' hallucination and delusion severity. Spatial BOLD-synchronicity was altered in patients' SN, DMN, and CEN, including decreased activity in the right anterior insula (rAI). Patients' functional connectivity between DMN and CEN was increased and related with hallucinations severity. Importantly, patients' time-lagged connectivity between SN and DMN/CEN was reduced, and decreased rAI activity of the SN was associated with both hallucinations and increased functional connectivity between DMN and CEN. Data provide evidence for an aberrant dependence of DMN/CEN interactions on anterior insular SN activity, linking impaired insula, DMN, CEN activity, and psychosis in schizophrenia.
Project description:Resting-state functional connectivity (FC) has proven a powerful approach to understand the neural underpinnings of chronic pain, reporting altered connectivity in 3 main networks: the default mode network (DMN), central executive network, and the salience network (SN). The interrelation and possible mechanisms of these changes are less well understood in chronic pain. Based on emerging evidence of its role to drive switches between network states, the right anterior insula (rAI, an SN hub) may play a dominant role in network connectivity changes underpinning chronic pain. To test this hypothesis, we used seed-based resting-state FC analysis including dynamic and effective connectivity metrics in 25 people with chronic osteoarthritis (OA) pain and 19 matched healthy volunteers. Compared with controls, participants with painful knee OA presented with increased anticorrelation between the rAI (SN) and DMN regions. Also, the left dorsal prefrontal cortex (central executive network hub) showed more negative FC with the right temporal gyrus. Granger causality analysis revealed increased negative influence of the rAI on the posterior cingulate (DMN) in patients with OA in line with the observed enhanced anticorrelation. Moreover, dynamic FC was lower in the DMN of patients and thus more similar to temporal dynamics of the SN. Together, these findings evidence a widespread network disruption in patients with persistent OA pain and point toward a driving role of the rAI.
Project description:Thalamocortical dysrhythmia is a key pathology of chronic neuropathic pain, but few studies have investigated thalamocortical networks in chronic low back pain (cLBP) given its non-specific etiology and complexity. Using fMRI, we propose an analytical pipeline to identify abnormal thalamocortical network dynamics in cLBP patients and validate the findings in two independent cohorts. We first identify two reoccurring dynamic connectivity states and their associations with chronic and temporary pain. Further analyses show that cLBP patients have abnormal connectivity between the ventral lateral/posterolateral nucleus (VL/VPL) and postcentral gyrus (PoCG) and between the dorsal/ventral medial nucleus and insula in the less frequent connectivity state, and temporary pain exacerbation alters connectivity between the VL/VPL and PoCG and the default mode network in the more frequent connectivity state. These results extend current findings on thalamocortical dysfunction and dysrhythmia in chronic pain and demonstrate that cLBP pathophysiology and clinical pain intensity are associated with distinct thalamocortical network dynamics.
Project description:Convergent research demonstrates disrupted attention and heightened threat sensitivity in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This might be linked to aberrations in large-scale networks subserving the detection of salient stimuli (i.e., the salience network [SN]) and stimulus-independent, internally focused thought (i.e., the default mode network [DMN]).Resting-state brain activity was measured in returning veterans with and without PTSD (n = 15 in each group) and in healthy community controls (n = 15). Correlation coefficients were calculated between the time course of seed regions in key SN and DMN regions and all other voxels of the brain.Compared with control groups, participants with PTSD showed reduced functional connectivity within the DMN (between DMN seeds and other DMN regions) including the rostral anterior cingulate cortex/ventromedial prefrontal cortex (z = 3.31; p = .005, corrected) and increased connectivity within the SN (between insula seeds and other SN regions) including the amygdala (z = 3.03; p = .01, corrected). Participants with PTSD also demonstrated increased cross-network connectivity. DMN seeds exhibited elevated connectivity with SN regions including the insula (z = 3.06; p = .03, corrected), and SN seeds exhibited elevated connectivity with DMN regions including the hippocampus (z = 3.10; p = .048, corrected).During resting-state scanning, participants with PTSD showed reduced coupling within the DMN, greater coupling within the SN, and increased coupling between the DMN and the SN. Our findings suggest a relative dominance of threat-sensitive circuitry in PTSD, even in task-free conditions. Disequilibrium between large-scale networks subserving salience detection versus internally focused thought may be associated with PTSD pathophysiology.
Project description:Recent functional brain connectivity studies have contributed to our understanding of the neurocircuitry supporting pain perception. However, evoked-pain connectivity studies have employed cutaneous and/or brief stimuli, which induce sensations that differ appreciably from the clinical pain experience. Sustained myofascial pain evoked by pressure cuff affords an excellent opportunity to evaluate functional connectivity change to more clinically relevant sustained deep-tissue pain. Connectivity in specific networks known to be modulated by evoked pain (sensorimotor, salience, dorsal attention, frontoparietal control, and default mode networks: SMN, SLN, DAN, FCN, and DMN) was evaluated with functional-connectivity magnetic resonance imaging, both at rest and during a sustained (6-minute) pain state in healthy adults. We found that pain was stable, with no significant changes of subjects' pain ratings over the stimulation period. Sustained pain reduced connectivity between the SMN and the contralateral leg primary sensorimotor (S1/M1) representation. Such SMN-S1/M1 connectivity decreases were also accompanied by and correlated with increased SLN-S1/M1 connectivity, suggesting recruitment of activated S1/M1 from SMN to SLN. Sustained pain also increased DAN connectivity to pain processing regions such as mid-cingulate cortex, posterior insula, and putamen. Moreover, greater connectivity during pain between contralateral S1/M1 and posterior insula, thalamus, putamen, and amygdala was associated with lower cuff pressures needed to reach the targeted pain sensation. These results demonstrate that sustained pain disrupts resting S1/M1 connectivity by shifting it to a network known to process stimulus salience. Furthermore, increased connectivity between S1/M1 and both sensory and affective processing areas may be an important contribution to interindividual differences in pain sensitivity.
Project description:Chronic musculoskeletal pain is a costly and prevalent condition that affects the lives of over 50 million individuals in the United States. Chronic pain leads to functional brain changes in those suffering from the condition. Not only does the primary pain network transform as the condition changes from acute to persistent pain, a state of hyper-connectivity also exists between the default mode, frontoparietal, and salience networks. Graph theory analysis has recently been used to investigate treatment-driven brain network changes. For example, current research suggests that Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) may reduce the chronic pain associated hyper-connectivity between the default mode, frontoparietal, and salience networks, as well as within the salience network. This study extended previous work by examining the associations between the three networks above and a meta-analytically derived pain network. Results indicate decreased connectivity within the pain network (including left putamen, right insula, left insula, and right thalamus) in addition to triple network connectivity changes after the four-week Acceptance and Commitment Therapy intervention.
Project description:Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by atypical brain network organization, but findings have been inconsistent. While methodological and maturational factors have been considered, the network specificity of connectivity abnormalities remains incompletely understood. We investigated intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) for four "core" functional networks-default-mode (DMN), salience (SN), and left (lECN) and right executive control (rECN). Resting-state functional MRI data from 75 children and adolescents (37 ASD, 38 typically developing [TD]) were included. Functional connectivity within and between networks was analyzed for regions of interest (ROIs) and whole brain, compared between groups, and correlated with behavioral scores. ROI analyses showed overconnectivity (ASD > TD), especially between DMN and ECN. Whole-brain results were mixed. While predominant overconnectivity was found for DMN (posterior cingulate seed) and rECN (right inferior parietal seed), predominant underconnectivity was found for SN (right anterior insula seed) and lECN (left inferior parietal seed). In the ASD group, reduced SN integrity was associated with sensory and sociocommunicative symptoms. In conclusion, atypical connectivity in ASD is network-specific, ranging from extensive overconnectivity (DMN, rECN) to extensive underconnectivity (SN, lECN). Links between iFC and behavior differed between groups. Core symptomatology in the ASD group was predominantly related to connectivity within the salience network.
Project description:Chronic low back pain is a common neurological disorder. The periaqueductal gray (PAG) plays a key role in the descending modulation of pain. In this study, we investigated brain resting state PAG functional connectivity (FC) differences between patients with chronic low back pain (cLBP) in low pain or high pain condition and matched healthy controls (HCs). PAG seed based functional connectivity (FC) analysis of the functional MR imaging data was performed to investigate the difference among the connectivity maps in the cLBP in the low or high pain condition and HC groups as well as within the cLBP at differing endogenous back pain intensities. Results showed that FC between the PAG and the ventral medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC)/rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) increased in cLBP patients compared to matched controls. In addition, we also found significant negative correlations between pain ratings and PAG-vmPFC/rACC FC in cLBP patients after pain-inducing maneuver. The duration of cLBP was negatively correlated with PAG-insula and PAG-amygdala FC before pain-inducing maneuver in the patient group. These findings are in line with the impairments of the descending pain modulation reported in patients with cLBP. Our results provide evidence showing that cLBP patients have abnormal FC in PAG centered pain modulation network during rest.
Project description:Prior studies have demonstrated dysfunctions within the core neurocognitive networks (the executive control [ECN], default mode [DMN] and salience [SN] networks) in late-life depression (LLD). Whether inter-network dysfunctional connectivity is present in LLD, and if such disruptions are associated with core symptom dimensions is unknown. A cross-sectional resting-state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging investigation was conducted of LLD (n = 39) and age- and gender-equated healthy comparison (HC) (n = 29) participants. Dual regression independent component analysis approach was used to identify components that represented the ECN, DMN and SN. The intrinsic inter-network connectivity was compared between LLD and HC participants and the relationship of inter-network connectivity abnormalities with dimensional measures was examined. Relative to HC participants, LLD subjects showed decreased inter-network connectivity between the bilateral ECN and default mode subcortical (thalamus, basal ganglia and ventral striatum) networks, and the left ECN and SN insula component; and increased inter-network connections between the left ECN and posterior DMN and salience (dorsal anterior cingulate) network components. Distinct inter-network connectivity abnormalities correlated with depression and anxiety severity, and executive dysfunction in LLD participants. LLD subjects also showed pronounced intra-network connectivity differences within the ECN, whereas fewer but significant DMN and SN disruptions were also detected. Investigating the intrinsic inter-network functional connectivity could provide a mechanistic framework to better understand the neural basis that underlies core symptom dimensions in LLD. Inter-network connectivity measures have the potential to be neuroimaging biomarkers of symptom dimensions comprising LLD, and may assist in developing symptom-specific treatment algorithms.