Constrained Spherical Deconvolution Tractography Reveals Cerebello-Mammillary Connections in Humans

Alberto Cacciola, Demetrio Milardi, Alessandro Calamuneri, Lilla Bonanno, Silvia Marino, Pietro Ciolli, Margherita Russo, Daniele Bruschetta, Antonio Duca, Fabio Trimarchi, Angelo Quartarone, Giuseppe Anastasi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


According to the classical view, the cerebellum has long been confined to motor control physiology; however, it has now become evident that it exerts several non-somatic features other than the coordination of movement and is engaged also in the regulation of cognition and emotion. In a previous diffusion-weighted imaging-constrained spherical deconvolution (CSD) tractography study, we demonstrated the existence of a direct cerebellum-hippocampal pathway, thus reinforcing the hypothesis of the cerebellar role in non-motor domains. However, our understanding of limbic-cerebellar interconnectivity in humans is rather sparse, primarily due to the intrinsic limitation in the acquisition of in vivo tracing. Here, we provided tractographic evidences of connectivity patterns between the cerebellum and mammillary bodies by using whole-brain CSD tractography in 13 healthy subjects. We found both ipsilateral and contralateral connections between the mammillary bodies, cerebellar cortex, and dentate nucleus, in line with previous studies performed in rodents and primates. These pathways could improve our understanding of cerebellar role in several autonomic functions, visuospatial orientation, and memory and may shed new light on neurodegenerative diseases in which clinically relevant impairments in navigational skills or memory may become manifest at early stages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Oct 24 2016


  • Cerebellum
  • Connectivity
  • CSD
  • Limbic system
  • Mammillary bodies
  • Tractography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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