Thickening of the somatosensory cortex in migraine without aura

Ji Hyun Kim, Jung Bin Kim, Sang Il Suh, Woo Keun Seo, Kyungmi Oh, Seong Beom Koh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: We aimed to explore cortical thickness abnormalities in a homogeneous group of patients with migraine without aura and to delineate possible relationships between cortical thickness changes and clinical variables. Methods: Fifty-six female migraine patients without aura and T2-visible white matter hyperintensities and 34 female controls were scanned on a 3T magnetic resonance imager. Cortical thickness was estimated and compared between patients and controls using a whole-brain vertex-by-vertex analysis. Correlation analysis was conducted between cortical thickness of significant clusters and clinical variables. Results: Compared to controls, migraine patients had cortical thickening in left rostral middle frontal gyrus and bilateral post-central gyri. Region-of-interest analysis revealed cortical thickening of bilateral post-central gyri in migraine patients relative to controls. The average thickness of bilateral post-central gyri positively correlated with disease duration as well as estimated lifetime headache frequency. Conclusions: We have provided evidence for interictal cortical abnormalities of thickened prefrontal cortex and somatosensory cortex in female migraine patients without aura. Our findings of greater thickening of the somatosensory cortex in relation to increasing disease duration and increasing headache frequency suggest that repeated migraine attacks over time may lead to structural changes of the somatosensory cortex through increased noxious afferent input within the trigemino-thalamo-cortical pathway in migraine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1125-1133
Number of pages9
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Dec
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea Grant funded by the Korean Government (grant number 2012007757).

Publisher Copyright:
© International Headache Society 2014.


  • Cortical thickness
  • Migraine without aura
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Somatosensory cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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