Grey matter structure within the visual networks in migraine with aura: multivariate and univariate analyses

David M. Niddam, Kuan Lin Lai, Yi Ting Hsiao, Yen Feng Wang, Shuu Jiun Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The visual cortex is involved in the generation of migraine aura. Voxel-based multivariate analyses applied to this region may provide complementary information about aura mechanisms relative to the commonly used mass-univariate analyses. METHODS: Structural images constrained within the functional resting-state visual networks were obtained in migraine patients with (n = 50) and without (n = 50) visual aura and healthy controls (n = 50). The masked images entered a multivariate analysis in which Gaussian process classification was used to generate pairwise models. Generalizability was assessed by five-fold cross-validation and non-parametric permutation tests were used to estimate significance levels. A univariate voxel-based morphometry analysis was also performed. RESULTS: A multivariate pattern of grey matter voxels within the ventral medial visual network contained significant information related to the diagnosis of migraine with visual aura (aura vs. healthy controls: classification accuracy = 78%, p < 0.001; area under the curve = 0.84, p < 0.001; migraine with aura vs. without aura: classification accuracy = 71%, p < 0.001; area under the curve = 0.73, p < 0.003). Furthermore, patients with visual aura exhibited increased grey matter volume in the medial occipital cortex compared to the two other groups. CONCLUSIONS: Migraine with visual aura is characterized by multivariate and univariate patterns of grey matter changes within the medial occipital cortex that have discriminative power and may reflect pathological mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3331024231222637
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • Gaussian processes classification
  • medial visual network
  • migraine aura
  • migraine diagnosis
  • multivariate pattern analysis
  • voxel-based morphometry


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