We previously identified alpha frequency slowing and beta attenuation in the dynamic pain connectome related to pain severity and interference in patients with multiple sclerosis-related neuropathic pain (NP). Here, we determined whether these abnormalities, are markers of aberrant temporal dynamics in non-neuropathic inflammatory pain (non-NP) or when NP is also suspected. We measured resting-state magnetoencephalography (MEG) spectral density in 45 people (17 females, 28 males) with chronic back pain due to ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and 38 age/sex matched healthy controls. We used painDETECT scores to divide the chronic pain group into those with only non-NP (NNP) and those who likely also had a component of NP in addition to their inflammatory pain. We also assessed pain severity, pain interference, and disease activity with the Brief Pain Inventory and Bath AS Disease Activity Index (BASDAI). We examined spectral power in the dynamic pain connectome, including nodes of the ascending nociceptive pathway (ANP), default mode (DMN), and salience networks (SN). Compared to the healthy controls, the AS patients exhibited increased theta power in the DMN and decreased low-gamma power in the DMN and ANP, but did not exhibit beta-band attenuation or peak-alpha slowing. The NNP patients were not different from HCs. Compared to both healthy controls and NNP, NP patients had increased alpha power in the ANP. Increased alpha power within the ANP was associated with reduced BASDAI in the NNP group, and increased pain in the mixed-NP group within the DMN, SN, and ANP. Thus, high theta and low gamma activity may be markers of chronic pain but high alpha-band activity may relate to particular features of neuropathic chronic pain.
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