Altered regional homogeneity of spontaneous brain activity in idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia

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Abstract

The pathophysiology of idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia (ITN) has conventionally been thought to be induced by neurovascular compression theory. Recent structural brain imaging evidence has suggested an additional central component for ITN pathophysiology. However, far less attention has been given to investigations of the basis of abnormal resting-state brain activity in these patients. The objective of this study was to investigate local brain activity in patients with ITN and its correlation with clinical variables of pain. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 17 patients with ITN and 19 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were analyzed using regional homogeneity (ReHo) analysis, which is a data-driven approach used to measure the regional synchronization of spontaneous brain activity. Patients with ITN had decreased ReHo in the left amygdala, right parahippocampal gyrus, and left cerebellum and increased ReHo in the right inferior temporal gyrus, right thalamus, right inferior parietal lobule, and left postcentral gyrus (corrected). Furthermore, the increase in ReHo in the left precentral gyrus was positively correlated with visual analog scale (r=0.54; P=0.002). Our study found abnormal functional homogeneity of intrinsic brain activity in several regions in ITN, suggesting the maladaptivity of the process of daily pain attacks and a central role for the pathophysiology of ITN.

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Wang, Y., Zhang, X., Guan, Q., Wan, L., Yi, Y., & Liu, C. F. (2015). Altered regional homogeneity of spontaneous brain activity in idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 11, 2659–2666. https://doi.org/10.2147/NDT.S94877

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