Pediatric migraines are highly prevalent but not well-understood. Neuroimaging can provide great insight to brain physiology, but few studies have applied imaging to study pediatric migraines. Previous adult literature has shown differences in resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) in migraine patients compared to controls; however, adult migraine findings may not be directly transferable to children. This study’s aim was to investigate rsFC differences between children with migraine and controls to better understand pediatric migraines. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) data from 26 participants (10 controls and 16 migraines), between the ages of 7-16 years. Data was preprocessed and analyzed using FSL. An independent component analysis constrained to 30 components was used to identify resting-state networks across all subjects. Group average spatial maps were regressed into each subject’s dataset for a time course, which was then regressed into the subject-specific spatial maps. Permutation testing compared rsFC differences in the groups while controlling for age. Initial analysis indicated significant rsFC differences (p < 0.05) in two networks. In the frontoparietal network, there is decreased rsFC in the right motor cortex in the migraine group compared to controls. In the hippocampal/amygdala network, there is decreased rsFC in migraine patients in the right amygdala and right hippocampus. The frontoparietal and hippocampal/amygdala networks are relevant to migraine with roles in pain perception and processing, learning, emotion, and memory. Detecting differences in these networks in children with migraine compared to controls shows that even between migraines, there is intrinsically altered rsFC in pediatric migraine patients.
Khaira, A., Bell, T., Noel, M., Amoozegar, F., & Harris, A. D. (2019). "Resting-State Functional Connectivity Differences in Pediatric Migraine". 14th Annual Students' Union Undergraduate Research Symposium, November 26, 2019. University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.