Idiopathic congenital nystagmus (CN) is a rare eye disease that can cause early blindness (EB). CN deficits are observed most frequently with oculomotor dysfunction; however, it is still unclear what neuromechanics underly CN with EB. Based on that visual experience requires the functional integration of both hemispheres, we hypothesized that CN adolescents with EB might exhibit impaired interhemispheric synchrony. Our study aimed to investigate the interhemispheric functional connectivity alterations using voxel-mirrored homotopic connectivity (VMHC) and their relationships with clinical features in CN patients.
This study included 21 patients with CN and EB, and 21 sighted controls (SC), who were matched for sex, age and educational level. The 3.0 T MRI scan and ocular examination were performed. The VMHC differences were examined between the two groups, and the relationships between mean VMHC values in altered brain regions and clinical variables in the CN group were evaluated by Pearson correlation analysis.
Compared with the SC group, the CN had increased VMHC values in the bilateral cerebellum posterior and anterior lobes/cerebellar tonsil/declive/pyramis/culmen/pons, middle frontal gyri (BA 10) and frontal eye field/superior frontal gyri (BA 6 and BA 8). No particular areas of the brain had lower VMHC values. Furthermore, no correlation with the duration of disease or blindness could be demonstrated in CN.
Our results suggest the existence of interhemispheric connectivity changes and provide further evidence for the neurological basis of CN with EB.

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