The cerebellar cognitive profile

Anna M. Tedesco, Francesca R. Chiricozzi, Silvia Clausi, Michela Lupo, Marco Molinari, Maria G. Leggio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The cerebellar role in non-motor functions is supported by the clinical finding that lesions confined to cerebellum produce the cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome. Nevertheless, there is no consensus regarding the overall cerebellar contribution to cognition. Among other reasons, this deficiency might be attributed to the small sample sizes and narrow breadths of existing studies on lesions in cerebellar patients, which have focused primarily on a single cognitive domain. The aim of this study was to examine the expression of cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome with regard to lesion topography in a large group of subjects with cerebellar damage. We retrospectively analysed charts from patients in the Ataxia Lab of Santa Lucia Foundation between 1997 and 2007. Of 223 charts, 156 were included in the study, focusing on the importance of the cerebellum in cognition and the relevance of lesion topography in defining the cognitive domains that have been affected. Vascular topography and the involvement of deep cerebellar nuclei were the chief factors that determined the cognitive profile. Of the various cognitive domains, the ability to sequence was the most adversely affected in nearly all subjects, supporting the hypothesis that sequencing is a basic cerebellar operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3669-3683
Number of pages15
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • ataxia
  • cerebellum
  • cognition
  • procedural learning
  • sequence processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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