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The traditional view on cerebellar functioning has recently been challenged by results from neuroanatomical, neuroimaging and clinical studies. In this contribution, eighteen patients with primary cerebellar lesions (vascular: n=13; neoplastic: n=5) were systematically investigated by means of an extensive neuropsychological test battery. Fifteen patients (83%) presented with a broad variety of cognitive and linguistic deficits following cerebellar damage. Disturbances of concentration (72%), executive functioning (50%) and memory (50%) were most commonly found. Analyses of our results tend to support the hypothesis of a lateralization of cognitive modulation within the cerebellum: the right cerebellar hemisphere being associated with logical reasoning and language processing; and the left cerebellum mediating right-hemispheric functioning including concentration and visuo-spatial skills. In addition, nine patients (50%) presented with frontal-like behavioral and affective alterations. In an attempt to determine the working-mechanism underlying the cerebellar induced cognitive and affective disturbances, all patients were investigated by means of quantified ECD-SPECT studies. From a semiological point of view, the cerebellum can cause a broad spectrum of clinically significant cognitive and affective disturbances. From a pathophysiological point of view, quantified SPECT data support the functional impact of the cerebellar lesion on cortical functioning through disruption of cerebello-cerebral connections, reflected by the phenomenon of cerebello-cerebral diaschisis.
|Number of pages||10|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|
- cognitive-affective syndrome
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