Cerebellum is the largest part of the hindbrain and weighs about 150 g. It is enshrined in posterior cranial fossa behind the pons and medulla oblongata and separated from these structures by cavity of fourth ventricle. It is connected to brainstem by three fibre tracts known as cerebellar peduncles. Cerebellum controls the same side of body. It precisely coordinates skilled voluntary movements by controlling strength, duration and force of contraction, so that they are smooth, balanced and accurate. It is also responsible for maintaining equilibrium, muscle tone and posture of the body. This is achieved through the use of somatic sensory information in modulating the motor output from the cerebrum and brainstem. Sherrington regarded cerebellum as the head ganglion of the proprioceptive system. Dysfunction of cerebellum along with degenerative diseases of cerebellum such as spinocerebellar ataxia, multiple sclerosis, malignant tumours, etc. may culminate into disequilibrium, hypotonia, difficulty in talking, sleeping, maintaining muscular coordination and dyssynergia which at times may be life threatening. Hence, knowledge of anatomy of cerebellum is imperative for neuroanatomists and neurosurgeons.
Part of the book: Neurodegenerative Diseases