There is growing evidence based on behavioral and functional imaging studies about the cerebellar involvement in the modulation of cognitive functions. However, it still remains to be clarified how the cerebellum interacts with brain regions sub-serving different cognitive domains. In this study we used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and voxel based morphometry (VBM) to investigate changes of cerebral gray matter (GM) density in 15 patients with a focal cerebellar damage (CD) compared to 15 healthy controls. T2-weighted scans and T1-weighted volumes were collected from each subject. With the exception of the cerebellar lesion, none of the patients showed any additional brain MRI abnormality. T1-volumes were analyzed by voxel-based morphometry. Consistent with their neuropsychological abnormalities, patients with right-CD compared to controls showed a reduction of GM density mainly involving the left frontal, parietal and temporal lobes. Conversely, patients with left-CD did not show any significant neuropsychological or cerebral GM abnormality. The present study indicates that specific GM changes may be detected in patients with isolated CD and cognitive dysfunction. We discuss the findings in terms of cerebellar influence on the neuronal networks involved in higher level functions of the association cortex.
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 1 2009|
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