Brain structural damage in spinocerebellar ataxia type 2. A voxel-based morphometry study



Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) enables an unbiased in-vivo whole-brain quantitative analysis of differences in gray matter (GM), white matter (WM) and cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) volumes. We assessed with VBM 20 spinocerebellar ataxia Type 2 (SCA2) patients with mild or moderate cerebellar deficit and 20 age and sex-matched healthy controls. SCA2 patients showed a significant (P < 0.05 corrected for multiple comparison) symmetric loss of GM in the cerebellar vermis and hemispheres sparing lobules I,II, Crus II,VII, and X, and of the WM in the peridentate region, middle cerebellar peduncles, dorsal pons, and cerebral peduncles. The CSF volume was increased in the posterior cranial fossa. No GM, WM or CSF volume changes were observed in the supratentorial compartment. A mild (P < 0.05, >0.01) correlation was observed between the GM and WM loss and severity of the neurological deficit. In SCA2 patients with mild to moderate cerebellar deficit, GM and WM volume loss and CSF volume increase are confined to the posterior cranial fossa. © 2008 Movement Disorder Society