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Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 12

Haitao Li, Jingjing Ma, Xiaoning Zhang

Department of Neurology, First Affiliated Hospital, Xinjiang Medical University, Urumuqi, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:1783-1791

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.891104

Available online:

Published: 2014-10-02

Background: Spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are autosomal-dominant neurodegenerative diseases that are clinically and genetically heterogeneous. SCAs are characterized by a range of neurological symptoms. SCA12 is an autosomal-dominant (AD) ataxia caused by a CAG repeat expansion mutation in a presumed promoter region of the gene PPP2R2B in a non-coding region on chromosome 5q32. This study sought to determine changes in different positions in a single Uyghur SCA12 pedigree by measuring the apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and fractional anisotropy (FA).
Material and Methods: A single Uyghur pedigree was collected and was confirmed to possess SCA12 by genetic diagnosis, among which 13 cases were patients and 54 cases were “healthy” individuals. Five patients were presymptomatic and 15 individuals selected as a control group were examination in the same time. DTI was performed on a 1.5T scanner, with b=1000 s/mm2 and 15 directions. ADC and FA were measured by regions of interest positioned in the corticospinal tract at the level of the pons (pons), superior peduncle (SCP), middle cerebellar peduncle (MCP), cerebellar cortex (CeC), cerebral cortex (CC), and cerebellar vermis (CV) white matter.
Results: Compared with the controls, the ADC was significantly elevated in the CeC, SCP, CC, and CV regions in SCA12 patients. The FA significantly decreased in the CC region in SCA12 patients and the CC and CV regions in SCA12 presymptomatic patients. The course of the disease, SARA score, and ADC values in CV showed highly positive correlations.
Conclusions: SCA12 pedigree patients exhibited microstructural damage in the brain white matter. The damage in white matter fiber may first occur in the CC and CV regions in SCA12 presymptomatic patients. The ADC values in the CV region could reflect disease severity in SCA12 patients.

Keywords: Case-Control Studies, Anisotropy, Adult, diffusion tensor imaging, Spinocerebellar Ataxias - diagnosis