Cerebellar Dysfunction

The cerebellar cortex is made up of three cell layers. The middle or Purkinje layer contains Purkinje cells. These are the only neurons capable of transmitting efferent impulses. Deep within the cerebellar hemispheres in the roof of the 4th ventricle, lie four paired nuclei separated by white matter from the cortex.

The efferent system

The Purkinje cells give rise to all efferent axons. These pass either to the deep nuclei of the.___ cerebellum and thence to the brain stem, or to the vestibular nuclei of the brain stem. From there fibres relay back to the cerebral cortex and thalamus, or project into the spinal cord, influencing motor control.

¿■if i||p— Fastigial nucleus 4th ~~~~Dentate nucleus

Emboliform nucleus Globose nucleus

Deep nuclei of cerebellum (Dentate, fastigial, globose, emboliform)

— Brain stem """Vestibular nucleus

The afferent system

Connections between the vestibular system and the cerebellum are described on page 169.

The spinocerebellar pathways form a major afferent input. These transmit 'subconscious' proprioception from muscles, joints and skin - especially of the lower limbs.

THE DORSAL SPINOCEREBELLAR TRACT

THE VENTRAL SPINOCEREBELLAR TRACT

Anterior lobe of cerebellum

Superior cerebellar peduncle

Second order neurons arise here (L1-L5) and decussate

Ventral spinocerebellar tract

Anterior lobe

• Dorsal spinocerebellar tract

— Inferior cerebellar peduncle

Proprioceptive input

• Dorsal spinocerebellar tract

Anterior lobe

Anterior lobe of cerebellum

— Inferior cerebellar peduncle

Superior cerebellar peduncle

Proprioceptive input

column (T1-L4)

Second order neurons arise here and pass to the dorsal tract.

Second order neurons arise here (L1-L5) and decussate

Ventral spinocerebellar tract

The cerebellar pcdunclcs: Three peduncles connect the cerebellum to the brain stem: Superior peduncle - afferent and efferent fibres. Middle peduncle - afferent fibres only. Inferior peduncle - afferent and efferent fibres.

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