Snell's Clinical Neuroanatomy


CHAPTER 7 Cerebellum and Its Connections

Clinical Notes

movements, such as walking, to take place smoothly with precision and economy of effort. It must be understood that although the cerebellum plays an important role in skeletal muscle activity, it is not able to initiate muscle movement. Signs and Symptoms of Cerebellar Disease While the importance of the cerebellum in the maintenance of muscle tone and the coordination of muscle movement has been emphasized, it should be remembered that the symptoms and signs of acute lesions differ from those pro duced by chronic lesions. Acute lesions produce sudden,

General Considerations Each cerebellar hemisphere is connected by nervous path ways principally with the same side of the body; thus, a lesion in one cerebellar hemisphere gives rise to signs and symptoms that are limited to the same side of the body . The main connections of the cerebellum are summa rized in Figure 7-14. The essential function of the cerebellum is to coordi nate, by synergistic action, all reflex and voluntary mus cular activity. Thus, it scales and harmonizes muscle tone and maintains normal body posture. It permits voluntary

Frontal lobe of cerebrum

Corticopontocerebellar pathway

Cerebroreticulocerebellar pathway


Dentatothalamic tract

Cerebro-olivocerebellar pathway

Lentiform nucleus

Rubrospinal tract

Red nucleus

Pontine nucleus

Cerebellar nuclei


Cuneocerebellar tract

Transverse pontine fibers

Vestibular nucleus

Nucleus cuneatus

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Vestibular nerve


Vestibulospinal tract

Anterior spinocerebellar tract

Posterior spinocerebellar tract

Spinal cord

Figure 7-14 Some of the main connections of the cerebellum. The cerebellar peduncles are shown as ovoid dashed lines .

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