Question: I have just been told by my GP that my cerebellum is ‘a little small’. This may be the cause of my symptoms. My GP is referring me to a neurologist. In the meantime is there anything I can do to commence curing this problem. 

Answer: As you may know, the cerebellum is a brain structure that sits in the back of the skull. It is responsible for voluntary movement, gross and fine motor coordination, control of posture, balance and equilibrium and eye movement. I have attached a handout that shows the various brain structures and their functions so you can see where the cerebellum is in the brain.

Answer: It is difficult to determine if a smaller cerebellum is causing you problems. It would depend on what those symptoms were and if there was another explanation for those symptoms or not. I am not aware of any "typical sizes" for brains structures. People with smaller heads have smaller brains structures because they do not have the skull space for larger structures. Typically, it is not the size of the structure that matters as long as the structure is not damaged. As we age, our brains do get smaller (under atrophy) and we can determine if a person's brain is getting atrophying at a faster rate than would be expected for their age (an MRI scan can give a radiologist and/or neurologist information about this) and if this is causing any problems.


Question: I had an episode in Sept 2014. I got too hot and felt like I had a panic attack. I had an MRI of the brain.  I also saw a cardiologist, did a stress test, echogram of my heart, and did something on the blood vessels of my neck. I was told I had cerebellum volume loss caused by alcohol. Have seen 3 neurologists. Did an MRI of c-spine in January Some narrowing to 6.5 mm and flattening of the cord at c6/7 Neurologist performed EMG, nerves good, some signs of pinched nerve at L5.

I have gait, balance, slurred speech. Originally gait and balance, speech when I was tired. Then 4 mos later speech all the time. I have done pt-30 times and speech therapy- 20 times. 
I am doing better, worse than at the beginning but stabilized and got little better. Any suggestions?

Answer: The symptoms that you are describing sound consistent to damage to the cerebellum. The cerebellum sits in the back of the brain (it actually looks like a "little brain"). Its main functions include: balance, voluntary movement, gross and fine motor movements, control of posture and eye movement. Speech tends to be a function of the temporal lobe which is located in the area of the brain above your ears (near your temples). In terms of what you can do, continue your rehabilitation in PT and speech therapy. These therapies will help you with your balance and coordination issues and can improve speech and thinking skills. 

Keep up the hard work in these therapies and continue to challenge your brain. Your brain works best when it is challenged to learn new things or to practice the things we have already learned.


Question: In 1990 my daughter suffered a tbi. She had 5 bruises on her brain. All healed but her left cerabellum. She lost 70 to 80% of it and suffers from mild to sever ataxia and balance problems. Is there anything out there that can help her? She went through 2 years of rehab.

Answer: I am sorry to hear of your daughter's brain injury. Since your daughter lost 70-80% of her cerebellum, she may always have problems with ataxia and balance. Physical exercise such as riding a stationary bike to get her legs to move in a coordination fashion has been shown to work with people who have balance and ataxia. I am not sure if this has been studied in people who have lost part of their cerebellum but it has shown positive effects in people with Parkinson's disease, who have a different cause of their injury but have the same issues with balance and ataxia. I am attaching a few of those articles here for you.  It may be that you are now in a state where you are maintaining the gains your daughter has gained and trying to prevent her balance issues from getting worse. This may be able to be achieved through physical therapy exercises and/or medications. 


Question: I am a male age 45. My cerebellum is compromised. Doctor is saying that blood is not circulating to all the cells and now I am unable to walk in a line and always I feel that I will fall while walking. Also eye sight problems occur. It is a genetic problem, my mother is suffering from this disease. Can such a type of genetic problem can be cured.  

Answer:  I am sorry to hear about your condition involving the cerebellum. As you probably know, the cerebellum is important for things like vision, balance, fine motor movements, posture, etc. Do you know what kind of genetic problem it is? What name did the doctor give the condition? Unfortunately, most of the times genetic conditions are not reversible. Many times the only treatment is to try to prevent further decline in functioning. In this case, it might involve physical therapy (physiotherapy) to help with the balance issues and to try to help you to compensate or know what to do if you feel like you are falling. Occupation therapy (vision therapy, specifically) might be able to assist with the vision problems you have.


Question: 1/3 of my cerebellum was dissected because it had an acoustic neuroma attached to it. This has ruined my every day function. Is there any help for this condition? 

Answer: Unfortunately, once brain tissue has been removed, it does not regrow. But you can do rehabilitative exercises to help with some of the effects of the removal of part of your cerebellum. The brain is an amazing organ that can change with challenges or practice. The cerebellum is mostly involved in functions such as balance, fine motor movement, and vision, so exercises/rehabilitation would involve these types of functions.

** More information about the cerebellum >>