Cognitive Decline and Mood Alterations in the Mouse Model of Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 2

Ksenia S. Marinina, Ilya B. Bezprozvanny, Polina A. Egorova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) is a hereditary disorder, caused by an expansion of polyglutamine in the ataxin-2 protein. Although the mutant protein is expressed throughout all the cell and organ types, the cerebellum is primarily affected. The disease progression is mainly accompanied by a decline in motor functions. However, the disturbances in cognitive abilities and low mental state have also been reported in patients. Recent evidence suggests that the cerebellar functionality expands beyond the motor control. Thus, the cerebellum turned out to be involved into the language, verbal working, and spatial memory; executive functions such as working memory, planning, organizing, and strategy formation; and emotional processing. Here, we used the transgenic SCA2-58Q mice to evaluate their anxiety, cognitive functions, and mood alterations. The expression of the mutant ataxin-2 specifically in the cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) in SCA2-58Q mice allowed us to study the direct involvement of the cerebellum into the cognitive and affective control. We determined that SCA2-58Q mice exhibit anxiolytic behavior, decline in spatial memory, and a depressive-like state. Our results support the idea of cerebellar involvement in cognitive control and the handling of emotions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Cerebellum
  • Cognition
  • Mood alterations
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia
  • Transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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