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Stroke Education
The Brain

The Stroke Network
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Abingdon,  MD 21009





The cerebellum is involved in the coordination of voluntary motor movement, balance and equilibrium and also muscle tone. It is located just above the brain stem and toward the back of the brain. It is relatively well protected from trauma compared to the frontal and temporal lobes and brain stem.

The cerebellum receives information from the sensory systems, the spinal cord, and other parts of the brain and then regulates motor movements.


bullet Coordinates voluntary movements resulting in smooth, balanced muscular activity.
bullet Posture
bullet Balance
bullet Coordination
bullet Speech

Stroke may cause movements that are slow and uncoordinated. Individuals with cerebellar lesions tend to sway and stagger when walking.

Damage to the cerebellum can lead to:

bullet Asynergia - loss of coordination of motor movement
bullet Dysmetria - inability to judge distance and when to stop
bullet Adiadochokinesia - inability to perform rapid alternating movements
bullet Intention Tremor - movement tremors
bullet Ataxic Gait - staggering, wide based walking
bullet Cerebellar Gait - tendency toward falling
bullet Hypotonia - weak muscles
bullet Ataxic Dysarthria - slurred speech
bullet Nystagmus - abnormal eye movements

Stroke Warning Signs

bullet Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body   
bullet Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding   
bullet Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes   
bullet Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination   
bullet Sudden, severe headache with no known cause

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Original date 3/1/96 Revised 9/24/14