Author(s): Bolduc ME, du Plessis AJ, Sullivan N, Guizard N, Zhang X,
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Abstract The cerebellum has recently been recognized for its role in high-order functions, including cognition, language, and behavior. Recent studies have also begun to describe a functional topography of the mature cerebellum that includes organization on a mediolateral axis. However, no study to date has examined the relationship between regional cerebellar volume and developmental disabilities in children with cerebellar malformations. The objective of this study was to estimate the extent to which total and regional cerebellar volumes are associated with developmental disabilities in a cohort of children with cerebellar malformations. Children aged 1 to 6 years with a diagnosis of cerebellar malformation underwent standardized outcome measures and quantitative magnetic resonance scanning. The cerebellum was parcellated into seven mediolateral zones (three for each hemisphere plus the vermis) for regional volume analysis. In children with cerebellar malformations, decreased total cerebellar volume was associated with delays in global development, expressive language, cognition, as well as gross and fine motor function. Decreased volume in the right lateral cerebellar hemisphere was related to impaired cognition, expressive language, and gross motor function. Additionally, reduced vermis volume was associated with impaired global development, cognition, expressive language, and gross and fine motor skills, as well as behavior problems and a higher rate of positive autism spectrum screening test. These results begin to define the structural topography of functional outcome in children with cerebellar malformations and should lead to greater accuracy of prognostication as well as timely early developmental interventions.
This article was published in Cerebellum
and referenced in Autism-Open Access