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Recent studies suggest that the role of the cerebellum extends into cognitive regulation and that subcortical vascular dementia (SVaD) can result in cerebellar atrophy. However, there has been no evaluation of the cerebellar volume in the preclinical stage of SVaD. We aimed to compare cerebellar volume among patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and subcortical vascular mild cognitive impairment (svMCI) and evaluate which factors could have contributed to the cerebellar volume. Participants were composed of 355 patients with aMCI, svMCI, Alzheimer's disease (AD), and SVaD. Cerebellar volumes were measured using automated methods. A direct comparison of the cerebellar volume in SVaD and AD groups showed that the SVaD group had a statistically smaller cerebellar volume than the AD group. Additionally, the svMCI group had a smaller cerebellar volume than the aMCI group, with the number of lacunes (especially in the supratentorial regions) being associated with cerebellar volume. Cerebellar volumes were associated with some neuropsychological tests, digit span backward and ideomotor apraxia. These findings suggest that cerebellar atrophy may be useful in differentiating subtypes of dementia and the cerebellum plays a potential role in cognition.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





35 - 42


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Apraxias, Atrophy, Cerebellar Diseases, Cognitive Dysfunction, Dementia, Vascular, Diagnosis, Differential, Female, Humans, Leukoencephalopathies, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Neuropsychological Tests, Stroke, Lacunar