Cerebellar Syndromes: A Medical Student Guide


  • Claudia K. Sellers Department of Acute General Medicine, St Thomas’ Hospital, London, UK.
  • Suvankar Pal Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland.




Cerebellar Diseases, Central Nervous System Diseases, Cerebellum, Students, Medical


The cerebellum is central to normal motor function and co-ordination, and can be frequently affected in a number of common disease processes. However, medical student teaching relating to cerebellar anatomy and pathology is lacking, leaving many graduates with a significant knowledge gap. Junior doctors need to be able to recognize ‘cerebellar syndromes’ on presentation to hospitals, and to identify and manage reversible causes rapidly and effectively. After review of relevant literature, a simple approach to the functional anatomy and practical classifications of common cerebellar pathology is presented here, with a focus on symptoms, signs and examination techniques essential to medical school final exams.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biography

Claudia K. Sellers, Department of Acute General Medicine, St Thomas’ Hospital, London, UK.

Claudia Sellers is a Foundation Year 1 Doctor at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust, London, UK, and graduated from the University of Edinburgh Medical School in 2011.


1. Fine EJ, Ionita CC, Lohr L. The history of the development of the cerebellar examination. Semin Neurol 2002; 22(4): 375-84
2. Levy MN, Koeppen BM, Stanton BA. Special Senses: The cerebellum assists in the regulation of posture and movement. In: Levy MN, Koeppen BM, Stanton BA (4th ed). Principles of Physiology. Philadelphia: Elsevier Mosby; 2006.
3. Shardlow A, Turner MR. Examination of the Cerebellum. J Clin Exam 2008;5:5-9.
4. Khasnis A, Gokula RM. Romberg’s test. J Postgrad Med 2003; 49(2):169-72.
5. Manto M. The cerebellum, cerebellar disease and cerebellar research-two centuries of discoveries. Cerebellum 2008;7(4):505-16.
6. Angel RW. The rebound phenomenon of Gordon Holmes. Arch Neurol 1977; 34(4):250.



How to Cite

Sellers, C. K., & Pal, S. (2013). Cerebellar Syndromes: A Medical Student Guide. International Journal of Medical Students, 1(1), 37–42. https://doi.org/10.5195/ijms.2013.29