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Keywords:

  • cerebellar infarct;
  • neuropsychological dysfunction

Background– Recent clinical and research reports suggest that the cerebellum may contribute to the modulation of higher cognitive functions. Material and methods– We included 15 consecutive patients with isolated cerebellar infarcts (4 superior cerebellar artery territory infarcts, 1 anterior inferior cerebellar artery territory infarct and 10 posterior inferior cerebellar artery territory infarcts), all confirmed by magnetic resonance imaging. These subjects plus 15 controls matched for age, sex, and educational level underwent a neuropsychological test battery including vocabulary, similarities and block design subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Revised (WAIS-R); verbal fluency tests (categorial, phonemic, and alternate categorial fluency tests); Rey's 15 auditory word learning list; the paced auditory serial addition task; the Stroop test and the Zerssen Rating Scale. One year after the cerebellar infarct, each subject with cerebellar infarct was asked to undergo a second neuropsychological examination with the same test battery. Results– Patients with cerebellar infarcts exhibited significantly lower neuropsychological performances compared to those of the control group without any obvious difference between the different vascular cerebellar territories. After 1 year of follow-up, this neuro-psychological impairment tended to improve. Conclusions– The pattern of deficits observed in isolated cerebellar infarcts highlights the non-motor functions of the cerebellum and functional relationship between the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum.