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Rev Neurol. 2017 Jan 1;64(1):27-30.

[Language disorders in acute cerebellitis: beyond dysarthria].

[Article in Spanish; Abstract available in Spanish from the publisher]

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Hospital Universitario 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Espana.


in English, Spanish


Acute cerebellitis is one of the main causes of cerebellar syndrome in infancy. Among the wide range of manifestations, headache and ataxia being the most predominant, we can find other less frequent, although nonetheless interesting, ones, such as language disorders, which go beyond the well-known cerebellar dysarthria. The different combinations in which the symptoms can appear, especially when not accompanied by ataxia, make the condition a real challenge for the clinician.


Two patients, aged 2 and 4 years, with clinical features, lab tests and neuroimaging results consistent with parainfectious acute cerebellitis. Both of them also presented a striking language disorder, one in the form of cerebellar mutism and the other in the form of hypofluency and agrammatism, the latter also developing in the absence of ataxia. Both cases progressed favourably, and mild speech alterations persisted in the follow-up visits.


Cases such as these expand the range of clinical manifestations of acute cerebellitis. The involvement of the cerebellum in neurocognitive processes like language is becoming increasingly more important and, although many aspects are still only speculations, managing to define its true role will have important repercussions on the diagnosis, treatment and long-term prognosis of these patients.

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