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Papers: 17 Sep 2022 - 23 Sep 2022

2022 Sep 19

Int J Neurosci

Medication overuse headache associated with decreased dopamine transporter availability in the medial but not in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex: A CFT PET/MR study.


Dysfunction of the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system in medication overuse headache (MOH) is unknown. The present study aimed to determine dopamine transporter (DAT) availability, which is sensitive to dopamine levels, in the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system in MOH patients. This case-control study investigated eligible MOH patients admitted to the International Headache Centre in the neurological department of Chinese PLA General Hospital between July 2018 and August 2019. All subjects underwent an integrated positron emission tomography (PET)/magnetic resonance (MR) brain scans with CFT, a radioligand that binds to DAT. Standardised uptake value ratio (SUVr) images were compared voxelwise between MOH patients and healthy controls (HCs). SUVr values from significantly changed regions were extracted, and partial correlation analyses with clinical measures were conducted. We examined 17 MOH patients and 16 HCs. MOH patients had lower SUVr levels in the medial rather than lateral orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) than HCs (T = -5.0317, < 0.01), which showed no correlation with clinical features. MOH is characterised by decreased DAT availability in the medial OFC, which might reflect compensatory downregulation due to low dopamine signalling within the mesocorticolimbic dopamine system and provide a new perspective to understand the pathogenesis of MOH.