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Novel Clustering Approach for Migraine Patients with Aura Shows Promise for Personalized Electroacupuncture Treatment
Author: Dr. HU Li      Update time: 2023/06/28
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A collaborative team led by Dr. LIU Jixin (School of Life Science and Technology, Xidian University), Dr. ZHAO Ling (Acupuncture and Tuina School, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine), and Dr. HU Li (Institute of Psychology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences) has developed a novel clustering approach that classifies heterogeneous migraines with aura (MWoA) into distinct subgroups, which showed significant differences in response rates to an 8-week electroacupuncture treatment.

The study was published online in Neurology on

Migraine is a complex disease with varying symptoms. While acupuncture has been recommended as an effective alternative to drugs for reducing migraine attacks, its efficacy varies greatly due to the heterogeneity of migraine. Existing classification strategies based on clinical criteria may not be sufficient to distinguish heterogeneous MWoA patients.

In a recent study, researchers proposed a novel approach to classifying participants with MWoA based on clinical and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) data.

Specifically, whole-brain functional connectivities (FCs) were estimated from resting-state functional MRI data. Partial least squares correlation analysis was used to integrate clinical measurements with brain FCs, and a hierarchical clustering algorithm was used to cluster participants with MWoA into different subgroups.

The study found that participants with MWoA could be classified into two distinct subgroups, which showed significant differences in headache frequencies, self-ratings of depression, brain functional connectivities, and response rates to an 8-week electroacupuncture treatment. The findings suggest that personalized electroacupuncture treatment based on clinical and neuroimaging data may be attainable for treating migraine.

Dr. HU, the corresponding author of the study, stated that the novel clustering approach provides a new avenue for refining the diagnosis of MWoA patients and guiding the development of individualized strategies for pain prophylaxis and analgesia.

Dr. HU Li was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, among other sources.

LIU Chen Institute of Psychology
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Beijing 100101, China.
E-mail: liuc@psych.ac.cn

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