Atypical age-related cortical thinning in episodic migraine

Catherine D. Chong, David W. Dodick, Bradley L. Schlaggar, Todd J. Schwedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: Prior studies demonstrate reduced cortical thickness and volume in migraineurs. However, the effect of age on cortical thickness has not been assessed in migraineurs. In this study we investigated whether the process of aging on cortical thickness affects migraineurs differently compared to age-matched healthy controls, i.e. whether aging exacerbates cortical thinning in migraineurs. Methods: Cortical thickness was estimated using a general linear model vertex-by-vertex approach for 32 healthy controls (mean age=35.3 years; SD=11.6) and 27 episodic migraine patients (mean age=33.6 years; SD=12.3). Results were modeled using a main effect analysis to estimate the effect of age on cortical thickness for each group separately, and an age-by-group analysis to estimate differences in age-related cortical thinning between migraine patients and normal controls. Results: Although migraineurs and normal controls both have expected age-related thinning in many regions along the cortical mantle, migraineurs have age-related thinning of regions that do not thin in healthy controls, including: bilateral postcentral, right fusiform, and right temporal pole areas. Cortical thinning of these regions is more prominent with advancing age. Conclusion: Results suggest that migraine is associated with atypical cortical aging, suggesting that the migraine disease process interacts with aging to affect cortical integrity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1115-1124
Number of pages10
Issue number14
StatePublished - Dec 2014


  • Age-related cortical thinning
  • Aging
  • Cortical thickness
  • Migraine
  • Neuroimaging
  • Pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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