Cerebellar functional alterations are common in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE), which contribute to cognitive decline. This study aimed to deepen our knowledge of cerebellar functional alterations in patients with MTLE.
In this study, participants were recruited from an ongoing prospective cohort of 13 patients with left TLE (LTLE), 17 patients with right TLE (RTLE), and 30 healthy controls (HCs). Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected during a Chinese verbal fluency task. Group independent component (IC) analysis (group ICA) was applied to segment the cerebellum into six functionally separated networks. Functional connectivity was compared among cerebellar networks, cerebellar activation maps, and the centrality parameters of cerebellar regions. For cerebellar functional profiles with significant differences, we calculated their correlation with clinical features and neuropsychological scores.
Compared to HCs and patients with LTLE, patients with RTLE had higher cerebellar functional connectivity between the default mode network (DMN) and the oculomotor network and lower cerebellar functional connectivity from the frontoparietal network (FPN) to the dorsal attention network (DAN) (p < 0.05, false discovery rate- (FDR-) corrected). Cerebellar degree centrality (DC) of the right lobule III was significantly higher in patients with LTLE compared to HC and patients with RTLE (p < 0.05, FDR-corrected). Higher cerebellar functional connectivity between the DMN and the oculomotor network, as well as lower cerebellar degree centrality of the right lobule III, was correlated with worse information test performance.
Cerebellar functional profiles were altered in MTLE and correlated with long-term memory in patients.