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Papers of the Week

Papers: 19 Feb 2022 - 25 Feb 2022


Human Studies

2022 Feb 20

J Neurosci Res

Associations between pain catastrophizing and resting-state functional brain connectivity: Ethnic/race group differences in persons with chronic knee pain.


Terry EL, Tanner JJ, Cardoso JS, Sibille KT, Lai S, Deshpande H, Deutsch G, Price CC, Staud R, Goodin BR, Redden DT, Fillingim RB
J Neurosci Res. 2022 Feb 20.
PMID: 35187703.


Chronic pain is a significant public health problem, and the prevalence and societal impact continues to worsen annually. Multiple cognitive and emotional factors are known to modulate pain, including pain catastrophizing, which contributes to pain facilitation and is associated with altered resting-state functional connectivity in pain-related cortical and subcortical circuitry. Pain and catastrophizing levels are reported to be higher in non-Hispanic black (NHB) compared with non-Hispanic White (NHW) individuals. The current study, a substudy of a larger ongoing observational cohort investigation, investigated the pathways by which ethnicity/race influences the relationship between pain catastrophizing, clinical pain, and resting-state functional connectivity between anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), insula, and primary somatosensory cortex (S1). Participants included 136 (66 NHBs and 70 NHWs) community-dwelling adults with knee osteoarthritis. Participants completed the Coping Strategies Questionnaire-Revised Pain Catastrophizing subscale and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index. Magnetic resonance imaging data were obtained, and resting-state functional connectivity was analyzed. Relative to NHW, the NHB participants were younger, reported lower income, were less likely to be married, and self-reported greater clinical pain and pain catastrophizing (ps < 0.05). Ethnicity/race moderated the mediation effects of catastrophizing on the relationship between clinical pain and resting-state functional connectivity between the ACC, dlPFC, insula, and S1. These results indicate the NHB and NHW groups demonstrated different relationships between pain, catastrophizing, and functional connectivity. These results provide evidence for a potentially important role of ethnicity/race in the interrelationships among pain, catastrophizing, and resting-state functional connectivity.