The relationship between cerebellar volume, clinical disability and cognitive changes in MS patients
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory, demyelinating and degenerative disease of central nervous system. To determine the extent of disability and loss of functions, some tests are used such as Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), Timed 25 Feet Walk Test (T25FW), 9 Peg Hole Test (9HPT), Symbol Digit Modalities and Montreal Cognitive Assessment Test. In this study, we focused on the effects of MS in cerebellar volume and the correlation of cerebellar atrophy and functional tests.
Matherials and methods:
We retrospectively recruited 58 MS patients and 30 healthy controls. Cranial Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and functional tests were obtained from all subjects. Duration between clinical tests and MRI acquisition was no longer than 2 weeks. Volumetric MRI evaluation was performed with volBrain automatic segmentation pipeline. Results were analyzed with t-test and Spearman correlation analysis to reveal relationship between variables and compare two groups.
Mean values for age (p=0,351) and distribution in gender (p=0,834) showed no statistically significant variance between both groups. Mean disease duration in patient grup was 5,85±5,45. Comparison of mean values for cerebellar volume and normalized cerebellar volume with t-test showed statically significant changes that p values were respectively, p=0,036 and p=0,022. Cerebellar volumes showed statistically significant correlation with, Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT) values, Montreal Cognitive Assessment Test and timed 25 feet walk test.
Our results suggest presence of cognitive changes associated with cerebellar volume. Further studies may identify the extent of cerebellar volume changes as a predictor of disease progression.