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Papers of the Week

Papers: 5 Dec 2020 - 11 Dec 2020

Human Studies

2020 Oct 24



Altered network architecture of functional brain communities in chronic nociplastic pain.


Larkin TE, Kaplan CM, Schrepf A, Ichesco E, Mawla I, Harte SE, Mashour GA, Clauw DJ, Harris RE
Neuroimage. 2020 Oct 24; 226:117504.
PMID: 33293261.


Neuroimaging has enhanced our understanding of the neural correlates of pain. Yet, how neural circuits interact and contribute to persistent pain remain largely unknown. Here, we investigate the mesoscale organization of the brain through intrinsic functional communities generated from resting state functional MRI data from two independent datasets, a discovery cohort of 43 Fibromyalgia (FM) patients and 20 healthy controls (HC) as well as a replication sample of 34 FM patients and 21 HC. Using normalized mutual information, we found that the global network architecture in chronic pain patients is less stable (more variable). Subsequent analyses of node community assignment revealed the composition of the communities differed between FM and HC. Furthermore, differences in network organization were associated with the changes in the composition of communities between patients with varying levels of clinical pain. Together, this work demonstrates that intrinsic network communities differ substantially between patients with FM and controls. These differences may represent a novel aspect of the pathophysiology of chronic nociplastic pain.