Background: Increasing evidence suggests that the temporal and parietal lobes are associated with multisensory integration and vestibular migraine. However, temporal and parietal lobe structural and functional connectivity (FC) changes related to vestibular migraine need to be further investigated.
Methods: Twenty-five patients with vestibular migraine (VM) and 27 age- and sex- matched healthy controls participated in this study. Participants completed standardized questionnaires assessing migraine and vertigo-related clinical features. Cerebral cortex characteristics [i.e., thickness (CT), fractal dimension (FD), sulcus depth (SD), and the gyrification index (GI)] were evaluated using an automated Computational Anatomy Toolbox (CAT12). Regions with significant differences were used in a seed-based comparison of resting-state FC conducted with DPABI. The relationship between changes in cortical characteristics or FC and clinical features was also analyzed in the patients with VM.
Results: Relative to controls, patients with VM showed significantly thinner CT in the bilateral inferior temporal gyrus, left middle temporal gyrus, and the right superior parietal lobule. A shallower SD was observed in the right superior and inferior parietal lobule. FD and GI did not differ significantly between the two groups. A negative correlation was found between CT in the right inferior temporal gyrus, as well as the left middle temporal gyrus, and the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI) score in VM patients. Furthermore, patients with VM exhibited weaker FC between the left inferior/middle temporal gyrus and the left medial superior frontal gyrus, supplementary motor area.
Conclusion: Our data revealed cortical structural and resting-state FC abnormalities associated with multisensory integration, contributing to a lower quality of life. These observations suggest a role for multisensory integration in patients with VM pathophysiology. Future research should focus on using a task-based fMRI to measure multisensory integration.