Diffusion tensor imaging reveals disease-specific deep cerebellar nuclear changes in cerebellar degeneration
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Although cerebellar atrophy is a key sign in cerebellar ataxia, interpretation of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be hindered by region-specific age-related degeneration and poor visualization of posterior fossa structures. Direct quantification of true cerebellar cortical volume on MRI is a time-consuming process that may be confounded by complex foliation, which introduces partial volume effects.
It may be simpler to calculate an index for disease progression for the deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN), which mediate virtually all cerebellar outflow along with the vestibular nuclei. Quantitative assessment of the DCN could be invaluable to diagnosis, staging, and prognosis in neurodegenerative diseases with cerebellar involvement. Progress in structural assessment has enabled DCN identification [1, 2, 3]; however, there may be variable signal and contrast on T1- and T2-weighted scans such that DCN are sometimes not detectable at all [2, 4].
Recently, our team developed...
KeywordsDiffusion Tensor Imaging Cerebellar Ataxia Spinocerebellar Ataxia Deep Cerebellar Nucleus Cerebellar Degeneration
This work was supported by the Arnold-Chiari Foundation, the Robin Zee Fund, the Dana Foundation Program for Brain and Immuno-Imaging, the National Organization for Rare Disorders, the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression, the Office of Naval Research NDSEGF (Landman), and the following NIH grants: K23EY015802, M01-RR00052, R21NS059830, R01NS054255, and R01NS056307. Special acknowledgments to Wade Mayes, Alex H. Sinofsky, and Katherine K. Loya for their invaluable contributions to this work.
Conflict of interest statement
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