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Cerebellar atrophy in neurodegeneration—a meta-analysis
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  • Published on:
    “Region of interest” approach in cerebellar meta-analysis
    • Helena M Gellersen, Doctoral Candidate Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute and Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
    • Other Contributors:
      • Christine C Guo, Team Head
      • Claire O'Callaghan, Clinical Research Fellow
      • Rachel H Tan, Senior Research Fellow
      • Saber Sami, Lecturer in Dementia Research
      • Michael Hornberger, Head of Department of Medicine and Professor of Applied Dementia Research

    In our previous meta-analysis of cerebellar atrophy in seven major neurodegenerative conditions (Alzheimer’s disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), Huntington’s disease (HD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), multiple system atrophy (MSA), and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP)) we investigated studies that reported grey matter (GM) loss in the cerebellum [1]. Consistent regions of atrophy were found in AD, ALS, FTD, MSA, and PSP but not HD or PD. In their comment on our meta-analysis, Sheng and Pan have argued that our method of selectively investigating studies that found cerebellar atrophy, rather than adopting a whole-brain approach, is “not optimal in a coordinate-based meta-analysis” [2]. They further cite previous whole-brain meta-analyses that did not identify clusters of cerebellar grey matter loss in patients [3-6].
    Here, we argue that our approach was justified given our aim, which was to focus on cases where cerebellar atrophy was found in the respective disease groups in order to determine 1) if such atrophy followed a consistent, robust pattern, and 2) if atrophy patterns were disease-specific or generic, where possible relating them to symptomatology.
    There are several reasons why we chose to focus on the cerebellum rather than adopting a whole-brain approach. First, the cerebellum is hardly a “region of interest” in the classical sense given its marked heterogeneity in terms of function and connectivity as we...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Does Cerebellar Atrophy in Neurodegeneration?
    • Li-Qin Sheng, Neurologist Department of Neurology, Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital of Kunshan, Kunshan, PR China
    • Other Contributors:
      • Ping-Lei Pan, Neurologist

    Does Cerebellar Atrophy in Neurodegeneration?

    Li-Qin Sheng1, Ping-Lei Pan2
    1 Department of Neurology, Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital of Kunshan, Kunshan, PR China
    2 Department of Neurology, Affiliated Yancheng Hospital, School of Medicine, Southeast University, Yancheng, PR China

    Correspondence:
    PingLei Pan, Department of Neurology, Affiliated Yancheng Hospital, School of Medicine, Southeast University, West Xindu Road 2#, Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, 224001, PR China. E-mail: panpinglei@163.com, Telephone: +8618361146977

    Coordinate-based meta-analysis is a powerful way for neuroimaging studies to identify the most consistent and replicable differences in brain activity or structure in neurodegenerative disorders. In their JNNP publication, Gellersen et al 1 conducted coordinate-based meta-analyses of 54 voxel-based morphometry (VBM) studies in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD), behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple system atrophy (MSA), and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). In this study, they solely focused on cerebellar grey matter (GM) atrophy.1 Marked cerebellar atrophy in AD, ALS, bvFTD, PSP and MSA, but not in PD or HD, was identified in the meta-analyses.1
    These findings are of interest.1 However, the procedure of the meta-analyses had a major limitation. Coordin...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.