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Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Cerebellar degeneration


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Symptoms

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What are the signs and symptoms of cerebellar degeneration?

The most characteristic symptom of cerebellar degeneration is a wide-legged, unsteady, lurching walk, usually accompanied by a back and forth tremor in the trunk of the body. Other symptoms include slow, unsteady and jerky movement of the arms or legs, slowed and slurred speech, and nystagmus (rapid, small movements of the eyes).[1][2] Although cerebellar disorders usually strike adults in middle age, the age of symptomatic onset varies depending on the underlying cause of the degeneration.[3][2]

Studies have shown that many patients with movement disorders caused by damage to the cerebellum also have psychiatric symptoms. These studies suggest that patients with cerebellar diseases may benefit from screening and treatment of psychiatric symptoms.[2]

Last updated: 3/28/2011

References
  1. NINDS Cerebellar Degeneration Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). June 27, 2008; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cerebellar_degeneration/cerebellar_degeneration.htm. Accessed 10/2/2008.
  2. Study Finds Psychiatric Disorders are Common in People with Cerebellar Degeneration. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). March 8, 2005; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/news_and_events/news_articles/news_article_cerebellar.htm. Accessed 10/2/2008.
  3. NINDS Ataxias and Cerebellar or Spinocerebellar Degeneration Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). June 3, 2008; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/ataxia/ataxia.htm. Accessed 10/2/2008.


See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.