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International Scientific Acupuncture and Meridian Symposium (ISAMS) 2019 Conference Abstracts

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International Scientific Acupuncture and Meridian Symposium (ISAMS) 2019 Conference Abstracts

2020; 13(2): 74-74

Published online April 1, 2020 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jams.2020.03.023

Copyright © Medical Association of Pharmacopuncture Institute.

Somatotopically specific primary somatosensory connectivity to salience and default mode networks encodes clinical pain

Jieun Kim

Clinical Medicine Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, South Korea

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Abstract

While several studies have found that chronic pain is characterized by increased cross-network connectivity between salience, sensorimotor, and default mode (DMN) networks, a large sample-size investigation allowing a more reliable evaluation of somatotopic specificity and subgroup analyses with linkage to clinical pain intensity has been lacking. We enrolled healthy adults and a large cohort of patients (N=181) suffering from chronic low back pain (cLBP). To specifically link brain connectivity with clinical pain intensity, patients were scanned at baseline and after performing physical maneuvers that exacerbated pain. Compared to healthy adults, cLBP patients demonstrated increased connectivity between the functionally-localized back representation in primary somatosensory cortex (S1back) and both salience and DMN networks. Pain exacerbation maneuvers increased S1back connectivity to salience network regions, but decreased connectivity to DMN, with greater pain intensity increase associated with greater shifts in these connectivity patterns. Furthermore, only in cLBP patients reporting high pain catastrophizing, DMN connectivity was increased to a cardinal node of the salience network, anterior insula cortex, which was correlated with increased post-maneuver pain in this cLBP subgroup. Hence, increased information transfer between salience processing regions, particularly anterior insula, and DMN may be strongly influenced by pain catastrophizing. Increased information transfer between salience network and S1 likely plays an important role in shifting nociceptive afference away from self-referential processing, re-allocating attentional focus and affective coding of nociceptive afference from specific body areas. These results demonstrate S1 somatotopic specificity for cross-network connectivity in encoding clinical back pain, and moderating influence of catastrophizing for DMN/insula connectivity.

Keywords: functional connectivity, clinical pain, primary somatosensory cortex, pain catastrophizing, chronic low back pain, cross-network connectivity

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