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Assessment of synchronous neural activities revealed by regional homogeneity in individuals with acute eye pain: a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study

Authors Tang L, Li HJ, Huang X, Bao J, Sethi Z, Ye L, Yuan Q, Zhu PW, Jiang N, Gao GP, Shao Y

Received 9 November 2017

Accepted for publication 30 January 2018

Published 20 April 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 843—850

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JPR.S156634

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Minal Joshi

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Katherine Hanlon


Li-Yuan Tang,1,* Hai-Jun Li,2,* Xin Huang,1 Jing Bao,1 Zubin Sethi,3 Lei Ye,1 Qing Yuan,1 Pei-Wen Zhu,1 Nan Jiang,1 Gui-Ping Gao,1 Yi Shao1

1Department of Ophthalmology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, Jiangxi, China; 2Department of Radiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang, Jiangxi, China; 3The Department of Medicine, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, USA

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Objective: Previous neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that pain-related diseases are associated with brain function and anatomical abnormalities, whereas altered synchronous neural activity in acute eye pain (EP) patients has not been investigated. The purpose of this study was to explore whether or not synchronous neural activity changes were measured with the regional homogeneity (ReHo) method in acute EP patients.
Methods: A total of 20 patients (15 males and 5 females) with EP and 20 healthy controls (HCs) consisting of 15 and 5 age-, sex-, and education-matched males and females, respectively, underwent resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. The ReHo method was applied to assess synchronous neural activity changes.
Results: Compared with HCs, acute EP patients had significantly lower ReHo values in the left precentral/postcentral gyrus (Brodmann area [BA]3/4), right precentral/postcentral gyrus (BA3/4), and left middle frontal gyrus (BA6). In contrast, higher ReHo values in acute EP patients were observed in the left superior frontal gyrus (BA11), right inferior parietal lobule (BA39/40), and left precuneus (BA7). However, no relationship was found between the mean ReHo signal values of the different areas and clinical manifestations, which included both the duration and degree of pain in EP patients.
Conclusion: Our study highlighted that acute EP patients showed altered synchronous neural activities in many brain regions, including somatosensory regions. These findings might provide useful information for exploration of the neural mechanisms underlying acute EP.

Keywords: acute eye pain, corneal pain, regional homogeneity, resting state, functional magnetic resonance imaging

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