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PLoS One. 2014 Jan 22;9(1):e86916. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0086916. eCollection 2014.

Cerebellar abnormalities contribute to disability including cognitive impairment in multiple sclerosis.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
2
Department of Neurology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland ; Department of Cognitive Psychology and Methodology, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
3
Department of Neurology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland ; Department of Radiology, Division of Neuroradiology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
4
Department of Radiology, Division of Neuroradiology, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.
5
Medical Image Analysis Center (MIAC) AG, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland.

Abstract

The cerebellum is known to be involved not only in motor but also cognitive and affective processes. Structural changes in the cerebellum in relation to cognitive dysfunction are an emerging topic in the field of neuro-psychiatric disorders. In Multiple Sclerosis (MS) cerebellar motor and cognitive dysfunction occur in parallel, early in the onset of the disease, and the cerebellum is one of the predilection sites of atrophy. This study is aimed at determining the relationship between cerebellar volumes, clinical cerebellar signs, cognitive functioning and fatigue in MS. Cerebellar volumetry was conducted using T1-weighted MPRAGE magnetic resonance imaging of 172 MS patients. All patients underwent a clinical and brief neuropsychological assessment (information processing speed, working memory), including fatigue testing. Patients with and without cerebellar signs differed significantly regarding normalized cerebellar total volume (nTCV), normalized brain volume (nBV) and whole brain T2 lesion volume (LV). Patients with cerebellar dysfunction likewise performed worse in cognitive tests. A regression analysis indicated that age and nTCV explained 26.3% of the variance in SDMT (symbol digit modalities test) performance. However, only age, T2 LV and nBV remained predictors in the full model (r(2) = 0.36). The full model for the prediction of PASAT (Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test) scores (r(2) = 0.23) included age, cerebellar and T2 LV. In the case of fatigue, only age and nBV (r(2) = 0.17) emerged as significant predictors. These data support the view that cerebellar abnormalities contribute to disability, including cognitive impairment in MS. However, this contribution does not seem to be independent of, and may even be dominated by wider spread MS pathology as reflected by nBV and T2 LV.

PMID:
24466290
PMCID:
PMC3899307
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0086916
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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