Topographic brain mapping of the international cooperative ataxia rating scale
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The International Cooperative Ataxia Rating Scale (ICARS) is a 100-point semiquantitative scale designed primarily to assess cerebellar dysfunction. However, little is known of the metric properties of this scale. We assessed the ICARS by rating the severity of cerebellar dysfunction in 27 patients with spinocerebellar ataxias (SCA), three patients with sporadic olivopontocerebellar ataxia and 24 healthy control subjects. [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) study was also performed on each subject. The statistical parametric mapping analyses revealed a significant correlation between the ICARS scores and functional impairment of the frontal regions within SCA patients. The glucose metabolism in the cerebellum, thalamus and caudate nucleus had significant differences between SCA patients and healthy control subjects. The results suggested that the clinical severity of SCA patients correlated with the functional impairment in the frontal regions, the targets of cerebellar efferent projections.