Hongmei Cao1, Rong Wang2, Xue Luo2, 3, Zhe Zhang2, Xianjun Li2, Ed X Wu4, Qiumin Qu5, Jian Yang2
1Neurology department, the First Affiliated Hospital of Medical College,Xi'an Jiaotong University , Xi'an, Shaanxi, China; 2Radiology department, the First Affiliated Hospital of Medical College,Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China; 3Department of Biomedical Engineering, School of Life Science and Technology,Xi' an Jiaotong University, Xian, Shaanxi, China; 4Laboratory of Biomedical Imaging and Signal Processing, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong; 5Neurology department, the First Affiliated Hospital of Medical College,Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Essential tremor (ET) is common neurological movement disorders and may be related to cerebella dysregulation. The variation of grey matter (GM) in ET patients has remained uncertain from previous MRI studies, especially in mild type of essential arms tremor (a-ET). In this MRI study, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) method was used to detect the morphological changes of GM in 8 young patients with mild a-ET with respect to 8 healthy subjects. The mild a-ET patients exhibited the decrease of GM density in bilateral parietal lobe and the increase in GM density in bilateral cerebellum, occipital lobe and temporal occipital fusiform cortex. These findings may be associated with the network changes of cerebelo-thalamo-cortical loop in mild a-ET. The atrophy of GM in bilateral parietal lobe might represent the diminished capacity of spatial erientation and proprioceptive sensibility in a-ET patients. Moreover, mild a-ET shows a relative expansion of GM areas involved in higher order visuospatial processing, which might represent the adaptive reorganizational compensating through the increased demand on the visuospatial control of skilled movements in the early stage of a-ET. These morphological changes may help to assess early stage and distinguish subtype of ET.