Patients with progressive multiple sclerosis (PMS) show cerebellar functional connectivity (FC) rearrangements that are partially independent from cerebellar structural damage, and are likely expression of a maladaptive functional rewiring. This according to a recent study that aimed to investigate lobular cerebellar FC in patients with PMS in relation to cognition. In this cross-sectional study, resting state fMRI analysis was carried out on 29 PMS patients and 22 age- and sex-matched healthy controls (HC). Data were analyzed with a seed-based approach, with 4 different seeds placed at the level of cerebellar Lobule VI, Crus I, Crus II, and Lobule VIIb, accounting for cerebellar structural damage. Researchers found:
- When testing FC differences between PMS and HC without taking into account cerebellar structural damage, PMS patients showed a reduction of FC between Crus II/Lobule VIIb and the right frontal pole, with an increased FC between Lobule VIIb and the right precentral gyrus.
- After controlling for structural damage, PMS patients still showed a reduced FC between Crus II and right frontal pole, as well as an increased FC between Lobule VIIb and right precentral gyrus.
Cocozza S, Pontillo G, Russo C, et al. Cerebellum and cognition in progressive MS patients: functional changes beyond atrophy? [Published online ahead of print July 28, 2018]. J Neurology. doi:10.1007/s00415-018-8985-6.
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