An altered reward system characterizes chronic migraine with medication overuse headache

David M. Niddam, Shih Wei Wu, Kuan Lin Lai, Yun Yen Yang, Yen Fang Wang, Shuu Jiun Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Medication overuse headache shares several characteristics with substance use disorders. However, key features of substance use disorders such as increased impulsivity and alterations in reward processing remain little explored in medication overuse headache. Methods: Temporal discounting and impulsive decision making behavior and the associated brain mechanisms were assessed in 26 chronic migraine patients with medication overuse headache and in 28 healthy controls. Regions-of-interest analyses were first performed for task-related regions, namely the ventral striatum and the ventromedial and dorsomedial prefrontal cortices. Resting-state functional connectivity between these regions were then explored. An additional 27 chronic migraine patients without medication overuse headache were included for comparison in the latter analysis. Results: Patients with medication overuse headache showed steeper temporal discounting behavior than healthy controls. They also showed weaker subjective value representations in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, when accepting larger delayed rewards, and in ventral striatum and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, when accepting the smaller immediate reward. Resting-state functional connectivity was reduced among the valuation regions when comparing patients with medication overuse headache to the other two control groups. Conclusions: Patients with medication overuse headache were characterized by altered processing and dysconnectivity in the reward system during intertemporal choices and in the resting-state.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Impulsivity
  • intertemporal choice
  • temporal discounting
  • ventral striatum
  • ventromedial prefrontal cortex


Dive into the research topics of 'An altered reward system characterizes chronic migraine with medication overuse headache'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this