Functional reorganization of the default mode network across chronic pain conditions

Marwan N. Baliki, Ali R. Mansour, Alex T. Baria, A. Vania Apkarian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

375 Scopus citations


Chronic pain is associated with neuronal plasticity. Here we use resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate functional changes in patients suffering from chronic back pain (CBP), complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and knee osteoarthritis (OA). We isolated five meaningful resting-state networks across the groups, of which only the default mode network (DMN) exhibited deviations from healthy controls. All patient groups showed decreased connectivity of medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) to the posterior constituents of the DMN, and increased connectivity to the insular cortex in proportion to the intensity of pain. Multiple DMN regions, especially the MPFC, exhibited increased high frequency oscillations, conjoined with decreased phase locking with parietal regions involved in processing attention. Both phase and frequency changes correlated to pain duration in OA and CBP patients. Thus chronic pain seems to reorganize the dynamics of the DMN and as such reflect the maladaptive physiology of different types of chronic pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere106133
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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