Objective: We examined the anatomical involvement related to cognitive impairment in patients with multiple system atrophy (MSA). Methods: We examined 30 patients with probable MSA and 15 healthy controls. All MSA patients were assessed by the Unified MSA-Rating scale and Addenbrooke’s Cognitive Examination-Revised (ACE-R). We classified 15 MSA patients with ACE-R scores > 88 as having normal cognition (MSA–NC) and 15 with scores ≤ 88 as having cognitive impairment (MSA–CI). All subjects underwent 3 T MRI scanning and were investigated using voxel-based morphometry and diffusion tensor imaging. Results: Both the MSA–NC and MSA–CI patients exhibited cerebellar but not cerebral atrophy in voxel-based morphometry compared to controls. In contrast, tract-based spatial statistics revealed widespread and significantly decreased fractional anisotropy (FA) values, as well as increased mean diffusivity, radial diffusivity, and axial diffusivity in both the cerebrum and cerebellum in MSA–CI patients compared to controls. MSA–NC patients also exhibited similar involvement of the cerebellum but less extensive involvement of the cerebrum compared with the MSA–CI patients. In particular, FA values in MSA–CI patients were significantly decreased in the anterior part of the left corpus callosum compared with those in MSA–NC patients. The mean FA values in the left anterior part of the corpus callosum were significantly correlated with total ACE-R scores and subscores (memory, fluency, and language) in MSA patients. Conclusions: Decreased FA values in the anterior corpus callosum showed a significant correlation with cognitive impairment in MSA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology