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Friedreich’s Ataxia News present a new study on the impacts of cerebellar atrophy on other brain structures

Resume from the Friedreich’s Ataxia News article, Structural Changes May Serve as Biomarker for Ataxia, Study Finds  

“Researchers at Italy’s IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation have found that cerebellar atrophy can affect brain structures related to emotions, thinking and memory, which may in part explain ataxia symptoms. Their results suggest that identifying structural alterations in the cerebellum via imaging can help detect cerebellar degeneration and ataxia.

These observations in their study, Impact of cerebellar atrophy on cortical gray matter and cerebellar peduncles as assessed by voxel-based morphometry and high angular resolution diffusion imaging, which appeared in the journal Functional Neurology.

The cerebellum is the brain region that controls movement and motor tasks. More recently, scientists have learned that the cerebellum is also involved in cognition and emotions, though it’s not clear how this region is connected to these brain functions. Cerebellar atrophy can affect all regions connected to cerebellum. Therefore, studying the brain structure of patients with this condition might shed light on the cerebellum’s functional and structural connection to the rest of the brain.

Together with the cerebellum, the caudate nucleus region is related to voluntary movements. The cingulate gyrus is involved in emotional control, memory retrieval and general cognition, while the orbitofrontal cortex is related to cerebellar activity. These observations suggested a functional connection among the cerebellum and the three brain regions.

To read the research article, click here!

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