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Essential Head Tremor Is Associated with Cerebellar Vermis Atrophy: A Volumetric and Voxel-Based Morphometry MR Imaging Study

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Quattrone, A., Cerasa, A., Messina, D., Nicoletti, D., Hagberg, G., Lemieux, L., et al. (2008). Essential Head Tremor Is Associated with Cerebellar Vermis Atrophy: A Volumetric and Voxel-Based Morphometry MR Imaging Study. American Journal of Neuroradiology, 29(9), 1692-1697. doi:10.3174/ajnr.A1190.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-0729-1
Abstract
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Our aim was to investigate the presence of brain gray matter (GM) abnormalities in patients with different forms of essential tremor (ET). MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used optimized voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and manually traced single region-of-interest analysis in 50 patients with familial ET and in 32 healthy subjects. Thirty patients with ET had tremor of the arms (a-ET), whereas the remaining 20 patients had both arm and head tremor (h-ET). RESULTS: VBM showed marked atrophy of the cerebellar vermis in the patients with h-ET with respect to healthy subjects (Pcorrected < .001). Patients with a-ET showed a trend toward a vermal GM volume loss that did not reach a significant difference with respect to healthy controls (Puncorrected < .01). The region-of-interest analysis showed a reduction of the cerebellar volume (CV) in the h-ET group (98.2 ± 13.6 mm3) compared with healthy controls (110.5 ± 15.5 mm3, P < .012) as well as in the entire vermal area (790.3 ± 94.5 mm2, 898.6 ± 170.6 mm2, P < .04 in h-ET and control groups, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Atrophy of the cerebellar vermis detected in patients with h-ET strongly supports the evidence for the involvement of the cerebellum in the pathophysiology of ET. The lack of a significant CV loss observed in patients with a-ET suggests that a-ET and h-ET might represent distinct subtypes of the same disease.