In this article we will inform you about the cerebellum, its anatomy, main functions, characteristics, diseases, and everything you need to know about this important region of the human brain.
What is the cerebellum?
The cerebellum is a structure that is part of the central nervous system. In fact, it constitutes the largest area of the brain after the cerebrum and is located in the posterior and inferior region of the skull. Its main function is to integrate motor and sensory pathways.
In simpler words, the cerebellum is responsible for receiving information and orders from the cerebral cortex to transmit them to the musculoskeletal system so that they are executed.
Likewise, it is in charge of some processes related to memory, language, attention and learning, among others. However, the cerebellum has no function related to the olfactory system.
This important component of the brain is also responsible for the physiological tremor. Disorders in motor execution, balance or postures can be generated by any injury suffered in this area of the brain.
What does the cerebellum look like?
The cerebellum is egg-shaped and weighs between 150 and 180 grams. In men it is slightly heavier than in women and its dimensions are estimated to be between 8 cm x 5 cm x 5 cm, it is covered by a fluid known as cerebrospinal fluid and has three upper and lower anterior faces.
- The anterior aspect is connected to the medulla oblongata with the pons.
- The superior surface is roof-shaped and connects with the tentorium cerebelli.
- The inferior surface rests on the dura mater and connects with the occipital fossa of the skull.
The cerebellum is made up of two hemispheres and in the center there is a small cavity known as the vermis. This small structure is shaped like a worm AND contains unconscious nerve pathways.
Main function of the cerebellum
As we mentioned before, the main function of the cerebellum is to coordinate the sensory and motor pathways, that is, to relate the orders that are issued by the brain so that they are executed by the locomotor system.
In this sense, the cerebellum is the one who reacts quickly to any danger signal from the outside so that the person responds quickly to this stimulus.
But that is not all the cerebellum also has some additional functions that should be known, these are:
- Maintain balance.
- Preserve the intervened muscle tone.
- Regular in automatic and voluntary movements.
Diseases and injuries associated with the cerebellum
The cerebellum is an important element of the brain that, as you will have seen throughout the reading of these, intervenes in multiple essential functions of the human body. However, its functioning is affected in the presence of diseases and injuries such as the following:
- Diseases of genetic origin such as Dandy Walker
- Cellular degeneration
- Lower than normal muscle tone
- Ataxias or disorders of movement and muscle control in the extremities.
Curiosities about the cerebellum
The wonders of nature and the human body never cease to amaze us, especially in certain circumstances that seem out of the ordinary, but they are realities that go beyond fiction and invite us to reflect on the importance of knowing more about our anatomy and its functionality.
Did you know that some people are born without a cerebellum? According to the studies carried out in these cases, it is practically impossible to believe that this is true, but there are indeed people who have been born without this important element of their brain.
Although being born without the cerebellum could lead to premature death, there have currently been 9 cases of adults without a cerebellum.
It is a phenomenon or malformation whose survival depends on the adaptive capacity of the human brain to environmental conditions. evidence to date.