Loss of balance, speech problems, difficulty walking or performing specific movements symptoms of a cerebellar syndrome whose origin is linked to damage to the cerebellum. You can recover from such type of disease with the help of Medication Assisted Treatment

What is a Cerebellar Syndrome?

A cerebellar syndrome is a set of symptoms related to damage to the cerebellum and nerve pathways related to the cerebellum.

What is the Cerebellum? What is his Role?

The cerebellum is situated lower side of the brain, at the back of the skull, in the occipital region. It is a nerve center that communicates with the entire nervous system.

The cerebellum is the center of balance and coordination of movements. It plays a big role in adapting postures (static cerebellar syndrome) and the execution of voluntary movements (kinetic cerebellar syndrome). It makes it possible to maintain and modulate the force of a gesture, the length of a step, the curvature of a movement, and the action duration appropriately. It is also an internal clock that marks time. It informs the brain of the adaptations to be implemented to initiate the movement, stop it, repeat it, or reduce its speed. It also communicates with the organs of vision and hearing. It intervenes indirectly in the functions of learning (cognitive process) and memorization.

What Symptoms and What Consequences?

The cerebellar syndrome has several clinical signs and symptoms, varying depending on the origin of the cerebellum’s damage. They can be stable or worsen quickly, be present from birth, or appear during life.

Those affected generally suffer from balance disorders (staggering gait, called “pseudo-ebrieuse”), movement coordination disorders, and speech problems (punctuated, explosive, and poorly articulated speech). Walking, carrying out a gesture, writing, and speaking all these actions then require great adaptation and concentration efforts, which results in great fatigue for the patients.

What is The Origin of These Cerebellar Syndromes?

Many diseases can affect the cerebellum and cause cerebellar syndromes (e.g., multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, certain autoimmune diseases, etc.). The causes of a cerebellar syndrome are multiple: it can be of genetic origin, infectious, be consecutive to a vascular accident, a craniocerebral trauma, a tumor of the cerebellum or the brainstem, etc.

What Medical Care?

Currently, although research is progressing rapidly, there is no cure yet.

Only rehabilitation considerably improves the quality and the life expectancy of those affected. Earlier diagnosis and better follow-up delay the development and appearance of complications and can, especially in non-progressive cerebellar syndromes, make it possible to compensate for the deficits.

This is why medical and paramedical care is essential.

What can be The Consequences of a Cerebellar Syndrome on Children’s Learning?

The cerebellum participates in the child’s appropriation of school learning such as drawing, reading, writing, mathematics, and sport. It is in a phase of strong development, at least in the first ten years of life.

The learning of children with the cerebellar syndrome can therefore be accompanied by difficulties such as:

  • Irregular handwriting can become illegible: the line is irregular, even trembling, and exceeds the limits normally imposed.
  • A lack of precision and a slowness of execution in the gesture: all the gestures are slow and decomposed, the fine and precise gestures are clumsy. Carrying out two specific actions simultaneously can be difficult.
  • Slowness in the oral expression: speech problems, slowness, and difficulty in proceeding harmoniously, a delay in the initiation of speech can disturb oral expression as a whole and more particularly reading when disorders of oculomotricity are added to it.
  • Greater fatigue resulting in part from an effort of adaptation and permanent concentration to compensate for deficits.
  • In certain cases, cerebellar involvement can alter perceptions in the temporospatial domain, synchronization and chronology, memory, and the execution of multiple and complex instructions, thus causing difficulties, particularly in mathematics, very variables from one child to another.

Despite everything, children with cerebellar syndrome still have the ability and the will to learn and progress, some at the same pace as other children. Therefore, it is essential to support them in their learning appropriately and be educated with all the devices necessary for their success.

Some Numbers

It is estimated that less than 30,000 people have cerebellar syndrome in the USA.

Less than 10% are affected by dominant transmission ataxia, about 12% by recessive transmission ataxia for just under half, or around 1,500 people in the USA.

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