Cerebellar Syndromes

Cerebellar Syndromes

Differing clinical pictures may be seen with pathology in different parts of the cerebellum. Broadly speaking, a midline cerebellar syndrome (involving the vermis) may be distinguished from a hemispheric cerebellar syndrome (involving the hemispheres). Their clinical characteristics are:

  • Midline cerebellar syndrome:
    • Gait ataxia but with little or no limb ataxia, hypotonia, or nystagmus (because the vestibulocerebellum is spared), or Dysarthria; causes include alcoholic cerebellar degeneration, tumor of the midline (e.g., medulloblastoma), paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration.
  • Hemispheric cerebellar syndrome:
    • Limb ataxia (e.g., ataxia on finger-nose and/or heel-shin testing), dysdiadochokinesia, dysmetria, dysarthria, nystagmus; usual causes are infarcts, hemorrhages, demyelination, and tumors.
  • Pancerebellar syndrome:
    • Affecting all parts of the cerebellum, and showing a combination of the above signs (e.g., cerebellar degenerations).


Holmes G. The Croonian lectures on the clinical symptoms of cerebellar disease and their interpretation. Lancet 1922: i: 1177-1182; 12311237; ii: 59-65; 111-115


Cross References

Asynergia; Ataxia; Dysarthria; Dysdiadochokinesia; Dysmetria; Hemiataxia; Hypotonia, Hypotonus; Nystagmus