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Altered white matter

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No idea what this means, how/why it matters.

Altered white matter microstructural connectivity in cluster headaches: A longitudinal diffusion tensor imaging study; Chou K, Yang F, Fuh J, Huang C, Lirng J, Lin Y, Lee P, Kao H, Lin C, Wang S; Cephalalgia (Mar 2014)

   BACKGROUND Functional and structural disruptions to the pain matrix, which may involve changes in white matter (WM) pathways connecting the pain-processing system and hypothalamus, have been implicated in the pathophysiology of cluster headache (CH). However, previous studies have obtained inconclusive results regarding WM changes in CH, and WM variations between'in-bout'and'out-of-bout'periods of CH remain to be determined.

METHODS Multiple diffusivity indices obtained by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and post-hoc probabilistic tractography were used to elucidate CH pathophysiology.

RESULTS Compared to healthy participants, in-bout CH patients showed regionally higher absolute (radial and mean) diffusivities in the left medial frontal gyrus and frontal sub-gyrus and lower absolute (axial, radial and mean) diffusivities in the right parahippocampal gyrus of the limbic lobe. These changes during the in-bout period generally persisted in the out-of-bout period, except for the left cerebellar tonsil. Post-hoc probabilistic tractography showed highly consistent anatomical connections between these altered areas and the hypothalamus across participants.

CONCLUSIONS Distinct WM changes were observed in episodic CH. Connections between the pain-modulation areas and hypothalamus may be involved in CH pathophysiology.


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Connections between the pain-modulation areas and hypothalamus may be involved in CH pathophysiology.

Dang another study indicating our hypothalamuses suck. And blow. :D Or at least the connections to and from the haypothal-aroni may be screwed up...? I'm trying to come up with a catch phrase that could sum this study up in a way my pea brain can grasp.  :D

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hey this instantly rang a bell, I was sure I had read that before... no, it's a new study, but this "white matter" was discussed here before:


And ...yeah, is this white matter diffusion a cause or an effect of... simply pain maybe?

So I wonder...

Is the atrophy the cause of our CH?

Or is the CH the cause of the atrophy?

If the latter then preventing CH from occurring such as through busting takes on a new urgency.

For years we thought CH was a cruel annoyance without any long term effects.  This might indicate otherwise.   

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