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Papers of the Week

Papers: 13 April 2024 - 19 April 2024

2024 Apr 08

Curr Biol


Pathological claustrum activity drives aberrant cognitive network processing in human chronic pain.


Stewart BW, Keaser ML, Lee H, Margerison SM, Cormie MA, Moayedi M, Lindquist MA, Chen S, Mathur BN, Seminowicz DA


Aberrant cognitive network activity and cognitive deficits are established features of chronic pain. However, the nature of cognitive network alterations associated with chronic pain and their underlying mechanisms require elucidation. Here, we report that the claustrum, a subcortical nucleus implicated in cognitive network modulation, is activated by acute painful stimulation and pain-predictive cues in healthy participants. Moreover, we discover pathological activity of the claustrum and a region near the posterior inferior frontal sulcus of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (piDLPFC) in migraine patients during acute pain and cognitive task performance. Dynamic causal modeling suggests a directional influence of the claustrum on activity in this piDLPFC region, and diffusion weighted imaging verifies their structural connectivity. These findings advance understanding of claustrum function during acute pain and provide evidence of a possible circuit mechanism driving cognitive impairments in chronic pain.