Resting-state functional connectivity and cognitive dysfunction correlations in spinocerebelellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6)

Licia Pereira, Raag D. Airan, Ann Fishman, Jay J. Pillai, Kalyani Kansal, Chiadi U. Onyike, Jerry L. Prince, Sarah Hung Ying, Haris I. Sair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate the correlation between resting state functional MRI (RS-fMRI) activity and motor and cognitive impairment in spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6). Methods: Twelve patients with genetically confirmed SCA6 and 14 age matched healthy controls were imaged with RS-fMRI. Whole brain gray matter was automatically parcellated into 1000 regions of interest (ROIs). For each ROI, the first eigenvariate of voxel time courses was extracted. For each patient, Pearson correlation coefficients between each pair of ROI time courses were calculated across the 1000 ROIs. The set of average control correlation coefficients were fed as an undirected weighted adjacency matrix into the Rubinov and Sporns (2010) modularity algorithm. The intranetwork global efficiency of the thresholded adjacency sub-matrix was calculated and correlated with ataxia scores and cognitive performance. Results: SCA6 patients showed mild cognitive impairments in executive function and visual-motor processing compared to control subjects. These neuropsychological impairments were correlated with decreased RS functional connectivity (FC) in the attention network. Conclusions: Mild cognitive executive functions and visual-motor coordination impairments seen in SCA6 patients correlate with decreased resting-state connectivity in the attention network, suggesting a possible metric for the study of cognitive dysfunction in cerebellar disease. Hum Brain Mapp 38:3001–3010, 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3001-3010
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Brain Mapping
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • SCA6
  • fMRI
  • functional connectivity
  • resting state
  • spinocerebellar ataxia type 6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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