The cerebellum and motor dysfunction in neuropsychiatric disorders
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The cerebellum is densely interconnected with sensory-motor areas of the cerebral cortex, and in man, the great expansion of the association areas of cerebral cortex is also paralleled by an expansion of the lateral cerebellar hemispheres. It is therefore likely that these circuits contribute to non-motor cognitive functions, but this is still a controversial issue. One approach is to examine evidence from neuropsychiatric disorders of cerebellar involvement. In this review, we narrow this search to test whether there is evidence of motor dysfunction associated with neuropsychiatrie disorders consistent with disruption of cerebellar motor function. While we do find such evidence, especially in autism, schizophrenia and dyslexia, we caution that the restricted set of motor symptoms does not suggest global cerebellar dysfunction. Moreover, these symptoms may also reflect involvement of other, extra-cerebellar circuits and detailed examination of specific sub groups of individuals within each disorder may help to relate such motor symptoms to cerebellar morphology.