Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Cerebellar Mutism

  • Jacqueline L. CunninghamEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_97


A transient speech disorder typically associated with resection of cerebellar tumors as an operative complication, particularly resection of medulloblastomas involving the cerebellar vermis or brainstem, and was reported to be 24%. It is associated with the integrity of the dentate-thalamo-cortical tracts, especially the tract that originates in the right cerebellar hemisphere. Cerebellar mutism can also result from stroke in the cerebrovascular distribution, affecting the cerebellar peduncles and brainstem. Cerebellar mutism forms part of a syndrome of deficits, known as the posterior fossa syndrome (PFS).

Current Knowledge


As part of PFS, cerebellar mutism is associated with decreased or absent speech, irritability, hypotonia, ataxia, and the inability to coordinate voluntary movements, including the volitional motor aspects of speech. Mutism occurs within the first week of surgery (or cerebrovascular event) and its duration may be a matter of days or weeks. It is...

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References and Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyChildren’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA