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Cerebellar stroke

Cerebellar stroke

The blood vessels that reach the cerebellum are called the superior cerebellar artery, the anterior inferior cerebellar artery, and the posterior inferior cerebellar artery. A blood clot, bleeding, or trauma to any of these blood vessels can cause a cerebellar stroke. Of all brain strokes, cerebellar strokes account for 1%-4%.


Symptoms from a cerebellar stroke happen suddenly. They can be mistaken for other conditions because they appear nonspecific. In many cases, these symptoms are ignored.

Common symptoms of a cerebral stroke include:

More visible symptoms of a cerebellar stroke may include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Uncontrollable eye movement
  • Vertigo
  • Abnormal reflexes
  • Difficulty speaking

Potential complications of a cerebellar stroke

A cerebellar stroke can cause problems with movement, vision, speaking, thinking, and behavior. Some people have trouble eating, swallowing, and doing self-care activities. Some people can experience long-term deficits. 

Complications may include:

  • Jerking movements
  • Tremors
  • Double vision
  • Coordination problems, typically on one side of the body

A cerebellar stroke is life-threatening. If you have symptoms of a cerebellar stroke, even if they’re vague, you need to seek medical care and treatment as soon as possible. If a cerebellar stroke is not fatal, it can still lead to significant disability.


A cerebellar stroke can be the result of head trauma or hemorrhage that causes blood to pool in a portion of your brain. A brain hemorrhage can cause pressure to build in your brain and interrupt regular blood flow. Risk factors of cerebellar stroke include:


The treatment of cerebellar stroke will depend on factors such as:

  • Severity of the stroke
  • Type of stroke: ischemic or hemorrhagic
  • When symptoms started

An ischemic stroke may be treated with tissue plasminogen activators (tPA) to dissolve the blood clot or blood thinning medications. Surgery may also be performed to remove a blood clot and restore blood flow to that area of the brain. A hemorrhagic stroke requires careful management of bleeding and swelling to prevent hydrocephalus. Treatment can include:

  • Stopping blood–thinning medications
  • Medications to control blood pressure
  • Surgery to block off an aneurysm from the blood vessels in the brain or to seal it

Some therapies include:

  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy

Cerebellar stroke recovery

How much recovery cerebellar stroke survivors will achieve is uncertain. This rewiring of connections can be maximized through consistent practice of rehab exercises and a lifelong recovery cover. Cerebellar stroke recovery is a lifetime process and there will be highs and lows along the journey. We hope this article has helped explain cerebellar stroke and how survivors can pursue recovery one day at a time.


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