The cerebellum shrinks faster than normal ageing in Alzheimer's disease but not in mild cognitive impairment

for the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), Hossein Tabatabaei-Jafari, Erin Walsh, Marnie E. Shaw, Nicolas Cherbuin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Background: While acceleration in age-related cerebral atrophy has been well documented in Alzheimer's disease, the cerebellar contributions to this effect have not been thoroughly investigated. Objective: This study investigated cerebellar volume and atrophy rate using magnetic resonance imaging in individuals with normal cognition (CN), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Methods: Two hundred twenty-nine CN, 398 MCI and 191 AD participants of stage I ADNI database with screening scans were evaluated for cerebellar volume. Of those, 758 individuals with two or more follow-up scans were categorized into stable, converted, and reverted CN, MCI and AD and evaluated for cerebellar atrophy rate. Results: Cerebellar volume was 2.5% larger in CN than in those with AD but there were no differences between CN and MCI and MCI and AD in cross-sectional analysis. Similarly, the atrophy rate was 49% larger in AD and 64% larger in MCI who converted to AD but no difference was detected between CN and MCI. There were no association between education and APOEe4 and cerebellar volume or cerebellar atrophy across the diagnostic groups. Conclusion: Cerebellar atrophy contributes to Alzheimer's clinical progression but mostly at the late stage of the disease. However, even in the late stage shrinkage rate is less than the average of the shrinkage in the cerebrum and is not associated with AD moderators. This suggests that cerebellar involvement is secondary to cerebral involvement and can be due to network connection spread regardless of the primary pathology. Hum Brain Mapp, 2017.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3141-3150
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


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