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Papers of the Week

Papers: 6 May 2023 - 12 May 2023

Psychology, Translational

Human Studies, Neurobiology, Neuroimaging

CRPS, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Apr 30

Exp Neurobiol




Aberrant Resting-state Functional Connectivity in Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: A Network-based Statistics Analysis.


Hong H, Suh C, Namgung E, Ha E, Lee S, Kim RY, Song Y, Oh S, Lyoo IK, Jeong H, Yoon S


Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a chronic neuropathic pain disorder. Pain catastrophizing, characterized by magnification, rumination, and helplessness, increases perceived pain intensity and mental distress in CRPS patients. As functional connectivity patterns in CRPS remain largely unknown, we aimed to investigate functional connectivity alterations in CRPS patients and their association with pain catastrophizing using a whole-brain analysis approach. Twenty-one patients with CRPS and 49 healthy controls were included in the study for clinical assessment and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. Between-group differences in whole-brain functional connectivity were examined through a Network-based Statistics analysis. Associations between altered functional connectivity and the extent of pain catastrophizing were also assessed in CRPS patients. Relative to healthy controls, CRPS patients showed higher levels of functional connectivity in the bilateral somatosensory subnetworks (components 1~2), but lower functional connectivity within the prefronto-posterior cingulate (component 3), prefrontal (component 4), prefronto-parietal (component 5), and thalamo-anterior cingulate (component 6) subnetworks (p<0.05, family-wise error corrected). Higher levels of functional connectivity in components 1~2 (β=0.45, p=0.04) and lower levels of functional connectivity in components 3~6 (β=-0.49, p=0.047) were significantly correlated with higher levels of pain catastrophizing in CRPS patients. Higher functional connectivity in the somatosensory subnetworks implicating exaggerated pain perception and lower functional connectivity in the prefronto-parieto-cingulo-thalamic subnetworks indicating impaired cognitive-affective pain processing may underlie pain catastrophizing in CRPS.