Dec 7, 2014

The role of cerebellar abnormalities in neuromyelitis optica--a comparison with multiple sclerosis and healthy controls

Multiple Sclerosis : Clinical and Laboratory Research
Katrin WeierTill Sprenger


In relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), the cerebellum is a known predilection site for atrophy. Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is characterized by extensive lesions in the spinal cord and optic nerve; however, cerebellar involvement has been less studied. Secondary degeneration of the spinocerebellar tract could impact the cerebellum in NMO. We aimed to investigate whether spinal cord and cerebellar volume measures differ between patients with NMO and RRMS. Volumetric analyses of the cerebellum (TCV), the upper cervical cord (UCV) as well as the whole brain (NBV) of age- and gender-matched patients with NMO (n=30; 56% AQP4 +ve) and RRMS (n=25) were performed on 3T brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and compared with 34 healthy controls (HC). UCV was significantly reduced in NMO patients (6.3 cm(3)) as compared with HC (6.7 cm(3)), while patients with MS had reduced brain volumes compared with HC (NBV=1482 cm(3); p<0.001; TCV=188 cm(3); p=0.042), but UCV close to normal values. Patients with RRMS and NMO differed in NBV (p=0.001; lower in RRMS) and by trend (towards reduction in RRMS) in cerebellar volume (p=0.06). While atrophy seems to be diffuse in MS patients, a rather focussed pattern with predominant involvement...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Cerebellar Diseases
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Malignant Neoplasm of Spinal Cord
Neoplasm of Uncertain or Unknown Behavior of Spinal Cord
Spinocerebellar Tracts
Spinocerebellar Degeneration
Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting
Cortical Cell Layer of the Cerebellum
Spinal Cord Diseases

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