Cerebellar-Induced Aphasia After Stroke: Evidence for the “Linguistic Cerebellum”

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The cerebellum is traditionally known to subserve motor functions. However, for several decades, the concept of the “cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome” has evolved. Studies in healthy participants and patients have confirmed the cerebellar role in language. The exact involvement of the cerebellum regarding cerebellar aphasia remains uncertain. We included 43 cerebellar stroke patients who were tested at 3 months post-onset with the Boston Naming Test (BNT), the Token Test (TT), and the Diagnostic Instrument for Mild Aphasia (DIMA). Lesion side (left/right) and volume (cm3) were investigated. Patients significantly deviated on the following: BNT (p<0.001), TT (p<0.05), DIMA subtests: sentences repetition (p=0.001), semantic odd-picture-out (p<0.05), sentence completion (p<0.05) without an effect of lesion location (left/right) or volume (cm3) (p>0.05). Our clinical study confirms a non-lateralized cerebellar aphasia post-stroke, characterized by impairments in word retrieval, phonology, semantics, and syntax resembling cerebral-induced aphasia. The integral cerebellum appears to interact with eloquent cortico-subcortical language areas.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2024

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