Emotional disorders in patients with cerebellar damage - a case study
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Collegium Medicum UJ
Katarzyna Siuda   

Collegium Medicum UJ, Zamoyskiego, 30-519 Kraków, Polska
Submission date: 2013-11-20
Final revision date: 2014-01-09
Acceptance date: 2014-01-22
Publication date: 2014-04-25
Psychiatr Pol 2014;48(2):289–297
Growing number of research shows the role of the cerebellum in the regulation of affect. Cerebellar lesions can lead to emotional disregulation, a part of the Cerebellar-Cognitive-Affective-Syndrome. In this article we aim to analyze recent studies concerning the cerebellar participation in emotions and to present three cases: two female and one male who suffered from cerebellar damage and presented post-traumatic change in affect.

The patients' neuropsychological examination comprised: Raven’s Progressive Matrices Test, Trial Making Test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Łuria's Auditory Verbal Learning Test, Benton Visual Retention Test, Verbal Fluency Test, Stroop Test, Attention and Perceptivity Test, Frontal Behavioral Inventory.

Research review suggests cerebellar participation, especially of the vermis and paravermial regions, in detection, integration and filtering of emotional information and in regulation of autonomic emotional responses. In described patients we observed: hypersensitivity, irritability, impulsivity and self-neglect. The man and the woman with right-sided lesions presented similar symptoms: rigidity of thought, stubbornness, lack of criticism, jocular and inappropriate behavior. The woman with left-sided lesion was adynamic, apathic and passive, she presented emotional blunting, social isolation, lack of interests and motivation, general cognitive slowdown.

Both analyzed research and described cases indicate the connection between the cerebellum and emotion regulation. The symptoms presented by the patients most probably resulted from damaged cerebellar projections to subcortical structures (the limbic system) and frontal areas. The diversification of symptoms depending on the localization of lesions has not been described yet and seems to indicate interesting directions for future research.