To explore how baseline resting-state cerebral function predicts clinical outcomes of acupuncture treatment for migraine.
One hundred migraine patients and 46 healthy subjects were recruited. Patients were randomized into the acupuncture, sham acupuncture, and waiting list groups. Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected at baseline and after 1 month of longitudinal acupuncture treatments. Fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF) calculations were applied to explore the associations between baseline fALFF and changes in clinical variables in the acupuncture treatment group and the waiting list group.
Compared with healthy subjects, migraine patients had lower fALFF in the left rostral ventromedial medulla, right thalamus, left amygdala, and right angular gyrus. Regression analyses revealed that baseline fALFF values in the left middle frontal gyrus, left superior temporal gyrus, and middle temporal gyrus were positively associated with headache intensity changes in the acupuncture treatment group, while baseline fALFF values in the bilateral lingual gyrus and cuneus were negatively associated with headache intensity changes in this group.
The baseline fALFF values of brain regions associated with cognitive pain modulation, but not migraine severity, may predict future headache intensity improvement levels in migraine patients receiving acupuncture treatment.