The cerebellum is increasingly recognised for its role in modulation of cognition, behaviour, and affect. The present study examined the relation between structural cerebellar damage (grey matter volume (GMV), white matter hyperintensities (WMHs), lacunar infarcts (LIs) and microbleeds (MBs)) and measures of cognitive, psychological (i.e. symptoms of depression and apathy) and general daily functioning in a population of community-dwelling older persons with mild cognitive deficits, but without dementia. In 194 participants of the Discontinuation of Antihypertensive Treatment in Elderly People (DANTE) Study Leiden, the association between cerebellar GMV, WMHs, LIs and MBs and measures of cognitive, psychological and general daily functioning was analysed with linear regression analysis, adjusted for age, sex, education and cerebral volume. Cerebellar GMV was associated with the overall cognition score (standardised beta 0.20 [95% CI, 0.06–0.33]). Specifically, posterior cerebellar GMV was associated with executive function (standardised beta 0.18 [95% CI, 0.03–0.16]). No relation was found between vascular pathology and cognition. Also, no consistent associations were found on the cerebellar GMV and vascular pathology measures and psychological and general daily functioning. In this population of community-dwelling elderly, less posterior cerebellar GMV but not vascular pathology was associated with worse cognitive function, specifically with poorer executive function. No relation was found between cerebellar pathology and psychological and general daily functioning.

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The Cerebellum
Department of Neurology

Buhrmann, A. (A.), Brands, A.M.A. (A. M.A.), van der Grond, J, Schilder, C.M, van der Mast, R.C, Ottenheim, N.R. (N. Rius), … van den Berg, E. (2020). Cerebellar Grey Matter Volume in Older Persons Is Associated with Worse Cognitive Functioning. The Cerebellum. doi:10.1007/s12311-020-01148-0