Resting-state functional alterations in patients with persistent headache after COVID-19 infection: an exploratory study
Poster presented at the International Headache Congress 2021 (IHC 2021).
Objective: To evaluate resting-state functional alterations in patients with persistent headache after COVID-19 resolution.
Methods: Exploratory case-control study. Highresolution brain resting-state functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging data were acquired in patients with persistent headache after COVID-19 infection and healthy
controls (HC). CONN toolbox (version 17) was employed to assess the resting-state functional connectivity between 84 cortical and subcortical gray matter regions of interest. Significant results were considered
with p < 0.05 (Family Discovery Rate and seed-level corrected).
Results: Ten patients with persistent headache after COVID-19 (mean age: 53.8 +- 7.8 years; nine women) and 10 HC balanced for age and sex (mean age: 51.9 +- 6.6 years; nine women) were included in the study. Statistically significant higher functional connectivity was observed in the patients with persistent headache compared to HC in 10 connections. These connections were composed of an occipital region and another region that included the isthmus cingulate gyrus, a frontal or a parietal area. In the patients, significant lower functional connectivity was found in 12 connections between the cingulate and hippocampal gyri, parietal, temporal and frontal regions.
Conclusions: Patients with persistent headache after COVID-19 infection present strengthened functional connectivity with occipital regions and weakened functional connectivity between frontal, temporal and parietal regions.