Michael Dayan1, Giusy Olivito2, 3, Marco Molinari2, Marco Bozzali1, Maria Leggio2, 3
1Neuroimaging Laboratory, Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Lazio, Italy; 2Ataxia Laboratory, Santa Lucia Foundation, Rome, Lazio, Italy; 3Department of Psychology, "Sapienza" University, Rome, Italy
The cerebellum has major afferent and efferent fibers through the medial (MCP) and superior cerebellar peduncles (SCP) respectively. We examined the impact of cerebellar grey matter (GM) atrophy on both the cortical GM and the MCP and SCP. This was done with both conventional and diffusion MRI (dMRI) by comparing patients with cerebellar atrophy (ATR) and normal controls (NC). We found bilateral atrophy of the caudate nucleus, cingulate gyrus and orbitofrontal cortex, all known to be implicated with the cerebellum. The VBM analysis of dMRI metrics showed voxels with significantly different values in NC in bilateral regions of the MCP and SCP. These voxels were also correlated with mean cerebellar GM density. Correlations between dMRI metrics and ataxia clinical scores demonstrated further the usefulness of dMRI for clinical investigation of cerebellar atrophy.