Role of cerebellar dentate functional connectivity in balance deficits in patients with multiple sclerosis

Francesca Tona, Laura De Giglio, Nikolaos Petsas, Emilia Sbardella, Luca Prosperini, Neeraj Upadhyay, Costanza Giann, Carlo Pozzilli, Patrizia Pantano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To prospectively investigate, by using resting-state functional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, cerebellar dentate nuclei (DNs) functional connectivity abnormalities in multiple sclerosis (MS) to explore their impact on balance impairment in patients with MS, considering the role of DNs and their projections in maintaining balance, posture, and muscle tone, Materials and Methods: All subjects provided written informed consent, and the protocol was approved by the university institutional review board. Twenty-five patients with relapsing-remitting MS and 20 healthy control subjects underwent a 3-T resting-state functional MR imaging and static posturography. The seed-based method was applied to identify the cerebellar DNs resting-state network; first-level and high-level analyses were performed by using software tools. Results: Compared with control subjects, patients had worse postural stability and altered patterns of cerebellar DNs connectivity network, with decreased connectivity in caudate nuclei and thalami and increased connectivity in the cerebellum, pons, left amygdala, and orbitofrontal cortices (cluster level, family-wise error corrected, P < .05, z threshold . 2.3). In patients, the decreased connectivity in the left caudate nucleus was related with worse balance performance (cluster level, family-wise error corrected P , .05, z threshold . 1.96) regardless of age, lesion burden, and global clinical disability. Conclusion: These results reveal abnormalities of corticocerebellar circuit connectivity in patients with MS as compared with control subjects and suggest that the decreased connectivity between the DN and the left caudate nucleus could play a role in balance impairment in MS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-275
Number of pages9
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of cerebellar dentate functional connectivity in balance deficits in patients with multiple sclerosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this