Altered Cerebro-Cerebellar Dynamic Functional Connectivity in Alcohol Use Disorder: a Resting-State fMRI Study

Majd Abdallah, Natalie M. Zahr, Manojkumar Saranathan, Nicolas Honnorat, Nicolas Farrugia, Adolf Pfefferbaum, Edith V. Sullivan, Sandra Chanraud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is widely associated with cerebellar dysfunction and altered cerebro-cerebellar functional connectivity (FC) that lead to cognitive impairments. Evidence for this association comes from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) studies that assess time-averaged measures of FC across the duration of a typical scan. This approach, however, precludes the assessment of potentially FC dynamics happening at faster timescales. In this study, using rsfMRI data, we aim at exploring cerebro-cerebellar FC dynamics in AUD patients (N = 18) and age- and sex-matched controls (N = 18). In particular, we quantified group-level differences in the temporal variability of FC between the posterior cerebellum and large-scale cognitive systems, and we investigated the role of the cerebellum in large-scale brain dynamics in terms of the temporal flexibility and integration of its regions. We found that, relative to controls, the AUD group exhibited significantly greater FC variability between the cerebellum and both the frontoparietal executive control (F1,31 = 7.01, p(FDR) = 0.028) and ventral attention (F1,31 = 7.35, p(FDR) = 0.028) networks. Moreover, the AUD group exhibited significantly less flexibility (F1,31 = 8.61, p(FDR) = 0.028) and greater integration (F1,31 = 9.11, p(FDR) = 0.028) in the cerebellum. Finally, in an exploratory analysis, we found distributed changes in the dynamics of canonical large-scale networks in AUD. Overall, this study brings evidence of AUD-related alterations in dynamic FC within major cerebro-cerebellar networks. This pattern has implications for explaining the development and maintenance of this disorder and improving our understating of the cerebellum’s involvement in addiction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)823-835
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Cerebellum
  • Cerebro-cerebellar networks
  • Dynamic functional connectivity
  • Resting-state fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology


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