Corticolimbic anatomical characteristics predetermine risk for chronic pain.

Vachon-Presseau E, T├ętreault P, Petre B, Huang L, Berger SE, Torbey S, Baria AT, Mansour AR, Hashmi JA, Griffith JW, Comasco E, Schnitzer TJ, Baliki MN, Apkarian AV

Brain 139 (Pt 7) 1958-1970 [2016-07-00; online 2016-05-05]

SEE TRACEY DOI101093/BRAIN/AWW147 FOR A SCIENTIFIC COMMENTARY ON THIS ARTICLE: Mechanisms of chronic pain remain poorly understood. We tracked brain properties in subacute back pain patients longitudinally for 3 years as they either recovered from or transitioned to chronic pain. Whole-brain comparisons indicated corticolimbic, but not pain-related circuitry, white matter connections predisposed patients to chronic pain. Intra-corticolimbic white matter connectivity analysis identified three segregated communities: dorsal medial prefrontal cortex-amygdala-accumbens, ventral medial prefrontal cortex-amygdala, and orbitofrontal cortex-amygdala-hippocampus. Higher incidence of white matter and functional connections within the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex-amygdala-accumbens circuit, as well as smaller amygdala volume, represented independent risk factors, together accounting for 60% of the variance for pain persistence. Opioid gene polymorphisms and negative mood contributed indirectly through corticolimbic anatomical factors, to risk for chronic pain. Our results imply that persistence of chronic pain is predetermined by corticolimbic neuroanatomical factors.

Affiliated researcher

Erika Comasco

SciLifeLab Fellow

PubMed 27190016

DOI 10.1093/brain/aww100

Crossref 10.1093/brain/aww100

pii: aww100
pmc: PMC4939699


Publications 7.2.7