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Abstract #1209

Graph-Theoretical Analysis of BOLD-fMRI Using Nociceptive Stimuli Unravels Characteristics of Pain Chronification

Isabel Wank1, Silke Kreitz1, and Andreas Hess1

1Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Erlangen, Germany

Pain is a warning sign and a highly potent modulator of behavior. This naturally very useful mechanism evolves into a central healthcare problem, when pain becomes chronic and highly impacting the patient's daily life. By means of fMRI and modern graph theoretical analyses, we surveyed dynamic changes of functional connectivity within the mouse brain evoked within 7 sessions of noxious thermal stimulation of the hind paw. With no evidence of peripheral hyperalgesia, we found noticeable alterations of connectivity especially within cognitive and associative-evaluative brain structures. We hypothesize that these findings reflect profound changes that central sensitization impresses on the brain.

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