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Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Print version ISSN 1516-4446On-line version ISSN 1809-452X
BALDACARA, Leonardo; BORGIO, João Guilherme Fiorani; LACERDA, Acioly Luiz Tavares de and JACKOWSKI, Andrea Parolin. Cerebellum and psychiatric disorders. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2008, vol.30, n.3, pp.281-289. ISSN 1516-4446. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-44462008000300016.
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this update article is to report structural and functional neuroimaging studies exploring the potential role of cerebellum in the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders. METHOD: A non-systematic literature review was conducted by means of Medline using the following terms as a parameter: "cerebellum", "cerebellar vermis", "schizophrenia", "bipolar disorder", "depression", "anxiety disorders", "dementia" and "attention deficit hyperactivity disorder". The electronic search was done up to April 2008. DISCUSSION: Structural and functional cerebellar abnormalities have been reported in many psychiatric disorders, namely schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, dementia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Structural magnetic resonance imaging studies have reported smaller total cerebellar and vermal volumes in schizophrenia, mood disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies using cognitive paradigms have shown alterations in cerebellar activity in schizophrenia, anxiety disorders and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. In dementia, the cerebellum is affected in later stages of the disease. CONCLUSION: Contrasting with early theories, cerebellum appears to play a major role in different brain functions other than balance and motor control, including emotional regulation and cognition. Future studies are clearly needed to further elucidate the role of cerebellum in both normal and pathological behavior, mood regulation, and cognitive functioning.
Keywords : Cerebellum; Schizophrenia; Mood disorders; Anxiety disorders; Dementia.