Cerebellar atrophy also known as cerebellar degeneration is a condition that happens when there is a deterioration of neurons in the cerebellum. According to rarediseases.info.nih.gov, when cerebellar atrophy occurs, other parts of the central nervous system is also affected which causes problems in coordination and balance.
What is the cerebellum?
The cerebellum is the part of the brain that is responsible for muscle coordination, posture, balance, and speech. While cerebellum is only about 10% of the whole brain, it contains half of the brain’s neurons which are essential in sending signals to other parts of the body.
Causes of cerebellar atrophy
Cerebellar degeneration may be caused by a number of factors such as neurological diseases, alcohol abuse, and paraneoplastic disorders. Among the most common neurological diseases that may cause cerebellar atrophy in an individual include stroke, spinocerebellar ataxias, transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, and multiple sclerosis.
Cerebellar atrophy may also be hereditary if a family member is afflicted with an inheritable neurological condition such as spinocerebellar ataxia.
Symptoms of cerebellar atrophy
Deterioration of neurons in the cerebellum often results in loss of balance and coordination. Common signs and symptoms to look out for include unsteady walk, slow movements, jerky movements, slurred speech, and nystagmus, among others.
Treatments for cerebellar atrophy
Treatment of cerebellar atrophy is usually done through physical therapies to strengthen muscles and pain relief medications to ease gait problems.
What is cerebellar ataxia?
Meanwhile, another form of cerebellar degeneration is known as cerebellar ataxia. Cerebellar ataxia or cerebellitis, as defined by healthline.com, is a disorder that is accompanied by an inflammation of the cerebellum which leads to lack of control of the body’s voluntary movements.
Causes of cerebellar ataxia
Cerebellar ataxia is caused by viral infections or diseases in the nervous system which damages the cerebellum. Diseases that can lead to cerebellar ataxia include chickenpox, measles, mumps, hepatitis A, and Epstein-Barr infections.
According to healthiline.com, cerebellar ataxia may also be caused by other factors such as cerebellum bleeding, bacterial infections, and head trauma.
Symptoms of cerebellar ataxia
Similar to other forms of cerebellar degeneration, cerebellar ataxia shows symptoms such as impaired muscle coordination, unsteady gait, slurred speech, headaches, repetitive eye movements, and dizziness.
Treatments for cerebellar ataxia
[메디컬리포트=Carissa Marie 기자]