The cerebellum is an important structure in our brain responsible for many important functions in children and adults. It is located at the back part of the brain.
Also known as the “little brain” issues with the cerebellum create a problem called “ataxia.”
Ataxia is characterised by incoordination of gait, balance, arm, leg and eye movement problems.
Research is also showing that issues with the cerebellum may also affect the thinking brain (cortex), and our emotional centres.
Some interesting facts about the cerebellum
- 11% of brain’s body weight
- In humans, estimates of the total number of cerebellar cells is around 50 billion, which means that about 3/4 of the brain’s neurons are cerebellar!
- From birth to 4 years grows at a fast rate – attaining 80% body weight by 2 years, and is mostly developed by 4 years.
The cerebellum is involved in the following processes:
- co-ordination of our trunk (body)
- co-ordination of our arms and legs.
- muscle tone
- eye movement
- control of our speech.
- executive function (planning, abstract reasoning, working memory, verbal fluency)
- Spatial cognition (awareness of body in space)
- Personality change
There are numerous tests that can be performed to test cerebellar function.
At our practice all people from age 4 and above are tested, especially when there are concerns regarding learning, behaviour and development.
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