Image_1_Voxel-Based Morphometry of Cerebellar Lobules in Essential Tremor.tiff
The extent of neurodegeneration underlying essential tremor (ET) remains a matter of debate. Despite various extents of cerebellar atrophy on structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), previous studies have shown substantial heterogeneity and included a limited number of patients. Novel automated pipelines allow detailed segmentation of cerebellar lobules based on structural MRI.Objective
To compare the volumes of cerebellar lobules in ET patients with those in healthy controls (HCs) using an automated segmentation pipeline.Methods
Structural MRI scans of ET patients eligible for deep brain stimulation (n = 55) and of age-matched and gender-matched HCs (n = 55, from the IXI database) were segmented using the automated CEREbellum Segmentation pipeline. Lobule-specific volume differences between the ET and HC groups were evaluated using a general linear model corrected for multiple tests.Results
Total brain tissue volumes did not differ between the ET and HC groups. ET patients demonstrated reduced volumes of lobules I-II, left Crus II, left VIIB, and an increased volume of right X when compared with the HC group.Conclusion
A large cohort of ET patients demonstrated subtle signs of decreased cerebellar lobule volumes. These findings oppose the hypothesis of localized atrophy in cerebellar motor areas in ET, but not the possibility of cerebellar pathophysiology in ET. Prospective investigations using alternative neuroimaging modalities may further elucidate the pathophysiology of ET and provide insights into diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.