Luciani's work on the cerebellum a century later

Ermanno Manni, Laura Petrosini

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In 1891, Luigi Luciani published his famous monograph on the cerebellum and formulated his triad of the cerebellar symptoms: atonia, asthenia and astasia, which explained all troubles provoked by cerebellar lesions; later he added a fourth sign, dysmetria. In spite of the fact that it was advanced in a pre-electrophysiological period, Luciani's interpretation of the cerebellar role in many motor functions survives more than a century later and his terminology has entered the routine of the neurological examination. With the modern knowledge of cerebellar circuitries, we can state that Luciani rightly pointed out the role of the cerebellum in regulating postural tone and muscular force, and that conversely he was wrong in denying cerebellar influence in co-ordination of multi-joint movements and the somatotopic localizations in the cerebellar cortex and nuclei. In spite of this, Luciani's work represents a milestone in cerebellar physiology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-116
Number of pages5
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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