Cross-network coupling of neural oscillations in the dynamic pain connectome reflects chronic neuropathic pain in multiple sclerosis

Junseok A. Kim, Rachael L. Bosma, Kasey S. Hemington, Anton Rogachov, Natalie R. Osborne, Joshua C. Cheng, Jiwon Oh, Benjamin T. Dunkley, Karen D. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Sensory perceptions are coded by complex neural dynamics of regional communication in the brain. Thus, sensory abnormalities such as chronic pain may occur when neural dynamics go awry. Previous studies of cross-network dynamic functional connectivity in chronic pain identified abnormalities but were based on functional MRI which only captures slow temporal features. Here we conducted a magnetoencephalography (MEG) study to investigate fine temporal dynamics of aberrant cross-regional and cross-network communication of the dynamic pain connectome in patients with chronic pain. We also introduced a novel measure, dynamic functional coupling, to quantify the variability of brain communication. The study was performed in 33 people who had chronic pain associated with multiple sclerosis and 30 healthy controls. We found that patients with chronic pain exhibited abnormalities in cross-network functional coupling across multiple frequency bands (theta, alpha, beta, gamma), between the salience network and 3 other networks: the ascending nociceptive pathway, descending anti-nociceptive pathway, and the default mode network. However, these cross-network abnormalities involved different frequency bands in patients with neuropathic versus non-neuropathic chronic pain. Furthermore, cross-network abnormalities were linked to pain severity and pain interference. Our findings implicate broadband cross-network abnormalities as hallmark features of chronic pain in multiple sclerosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102230
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
StatePublished - 2020


  • Chronic pain
  • Dynamic functional coupling
  • Functional connectivity
  • Magnetoencephalography
  • Oscillations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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