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Papers of the Week

Papers: 30 Sep 2023 - 6 Oct 2023

2023 Sep 30

Brain Imaging Behav


Two distinct neuroanatomical subtypes of migraine without aura revealed by heterogeneity through discriminative analysis.


Liu H, Zheng R, Zhang Y, Zhang B, Hou H, Cheng J, Han S


The neurobiological heterogeneity in migraine is poorly studied, resulting in conflicting neuroimaging findings. This study used a newly proposed method based on gray matter volumes (GMVs) to investigate objective neuroanatomical subtypes of migraine. Structural MRI and clinical measures of 31 migraine patients without aura and 33 matched healthy controls (HCs) were explored. Firstly, we investigated whether migraine patients exhibited higher interindividual variability than HCs in terms of GMVs. Then, heterogeneity through discriminative analysis (HYDRA) was applied to categorize migraine patients into distinct subtypes by regional volumetric measures of GMVs. Voxel-wise volume and clinical characteristics among different subtypes were also explored. Migraine patients without aura exhibited higher interindividual GMVs variability. Two distinct and reproducible neuroanatomical subtypes of migraine were revealed. These two subtypes exhibited opposite neuroanatomical aberrances compared to HCs. Subtype 1 showed widespread decreased GMVs, while Subtype 2 showed increased GMVs in limited regions. The total intracranial volume was significantly positively correlated with cognitive function in Subtype 2. Subtype 1 showed significantly longer illness duration and less cognitive scores compared to Subtype 2. The present study shows that migraine patients without aura have high structural heterogeneity and uncovers two distinct and robust neuroanatomical subtypes, which provide a possible explanation for conflicting neuroimaging findings.