The Dysfunction of the Cerebellum and Its Cerebellum-Reward-Sensorimotor Loops in Chronic Spontaneous Urticaria.
Chronic spontaneous urticaria (CSU) is a common itchy skin disease. Despite its prevalence, the neuropathology of CSU is uncertain. In this study, we explored resting state functional connectivity (rs-FC) changes in CSU, as well as how the symptom changes following intervention can modulate rs-FC. Forty patients and 40 healthy controls (HCs) were recruited. Following an intervention, 32 patients participated in a second scan approximately 6 weeks after the first scan. Compared with healthy controls, CSU subjects exhibited higher regional homogeneity (ReHo) values in the cerebellum, which were positively associated with urticaria activity scores over 7 days (UAS7) at baseline. After an intervention accompanied with clinical improvement, we found that ReHo values decreased at the cerebellum and increased at the bilateral primary somatosensory cortex (SI)/primary motor cortex (MI)/supplementary motor area (SMA). Using the cerebellum as a seed, CSU subjects exhibited increased rs-FC with reward regions when compared with HCs and exhibited decreased rs-FC at the right orbitofrontal cortex and right sensorimotor region following the intervention. The improvement rate values were positively associated with reduced rs-FC values in the two regions. Using the cluster of SI/MI/SMA as a seed, CSU patients exhibited decreased rs-FC with the left putamen, caudate, accumbens, and thalamus following the intervention. These results demonstrate the altered cerebellar activity and cerebellum-reward-sensorimotor loops in CSU.