Indexed on: 25 May '16Published on: 25 May '16Published in: Neuroradiology
To explore the neuroanatomical correlates of primary writing tremor (PWT) and the role of cerebellum, using advanced structural neuroimaging. Till date, there are no studies exploring the gray and white matter changes using voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in PWT.Ten male patients with PWT were evaluated clinically and with magnetic resonance imaging. VBM and DTI images of patients were compared with that of 10 healthy male subjects. Spatially unbiased infra-tentorial template (SUIT) analysis was done to investigate the alterations of cerebellar gray matter. Region-of-interest analysis was performed on regions observed to be significantly different on DTI analysis.The mean duration of illness and mean age of the patients were 3.5 ± 1.9 and 51.7 ± 8.6 years, respectively. On VBM analysis, the cluster of gray matter atrophy was found in bilateral cerebellar areas of culmen and left declive, right superior and medial frontal gyrus, bilateral middle frontal gyrus, bilateral anterior cingulate gyrus, and bilateral parahippocampal gyrus. DTI showed significantly reduced fractional anisotrophy of the anterior thalamic radiation, cingulum, and inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus in PWT patients compared to controls. The axial diffusivity, mean diffusivity, and radial diffusivity maps did not reveal any significant differences. On SUIT analysis, significant atrophy was found in right uvula and semilunar lobule in patients with PWT compared to controls.Our study found that patients with PWT had predominant gray matter atrophy in parts of cerebellum and frontal lobe along with white matter changes of the cingulum and frontal lobe connections.