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Papers of the Week

Papers: 11 Nov 2023 - 17 Nov 2023

2023 Nov 02



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 lateral aspect of the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (latDLPFC) in migraine patients. Dynamic causal modeling suggests a directional influence of the claustrum on activity in this latDLPFC region, and diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) 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.