Information for Patients
When you play the piano or hit a tennis ball you are activating the cerebellum. The cerebellum is the area of the brain that controls coordination and balance. Problems with the cerebellum include
- Genetic disorders
- Ataxias - failure of muscle control in the arms and legs that result in movement disorders
- Degeneration - disorders caused by brain cells decreasing in size or wasting away
Treatment of cerebellar disorders depends on the cause. In some cases, there is no cure but treatment may help with symptoms.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Movement disorders are neurologic conditions that cause problems with movement, such as
- Increased movement that can be voluntary (intentional) or involuntary (unintended)
- Decreased or slow voluntary movement
There are many different movement disorders. Some of the more common types include
- Ataxia, the loss of muscle coordination
- Dystonia, in which involuntary contractions of your muscles cause twisting and repetitive movements. The movements can be painful.
- Huntington's disease, an inherited disease that causes nerve cells in certain parts of the brain to waste away. This includes the nerve cells that help to control voluntary movement.
- Parkinson's disease, which is disorder that slowly gets worse over time. It causes tremors, slowness of movement, and trouble walking.
- Tourette syndrome, a condition which causes people to make sudden twitches, movements, or sounds (tics)
- Tremor and essential tremor, which cause involuntary trembling or shaking movements. The movements may be in one or more parts of your body.
Causes of movement disorders include
- Damage to the brain, spinal cord, or peripheral nerves
- Metabolic disorders
- Stroke and vascular diseases
Treatment varies by disorder. Medicines can cure some disorders. Others get better when an underlying disease is treated. Often, however, there is no cure. In that case, the goal of treatment is to improve symptoms and relieve pain.