Cerebellar Stroke: Symptoms & Treatment

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  • 0:03 Big Brain, Little Brain
  • 0:25 Cerebellum & Stroke
  • 1:44 Clots: Treatment
  • 2:12 Burst Artery: Treatment
  • 2:54 Other Treatment Options
  • 3:17 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

Can a medical issue in the little brain be a big problem? Of course! In this video, you'll learn that even if it's smaller than our 'big brain,' a cerebellar stroke of the 'little brain' is not a little problem.

Big Brain, Little Brain

Did you know that you have a big brain and a little brain? You'd think that if you had a problem with your big brain, it would cause a bigger problem than if you had a problem with your little brain. But that's not so. The big brain is the cerebrum, and the little brain is the cerebellum. Let's find out what problems a person with cerebellar stroke may have and how to treat them.

Cerebellum & Stroke

The cerebellum is the part of the brain responsible for posture, balance, and coordinated movement. So if you hit a strike every time you bowl or a home run every time you step up to a baseball plate, you can thank your cerebellum for that. The cerebellum, like any part of the brain, may suffer a stroke, which is the death of a local segment of brain cells due to an interrupted blood supply. This interrupted blood supply may be the result of a blocked artery or an artery that has burst open.

As you can imagine, if part of the cerebellum is damaged, it cannot function at 100% capacity. Knowing what the cerebellum is responsible for, you won't be too surprised to learn many of the signs and symptoms of cerebellar stroke, such as:

  • Vertigo, or an illusion of movement stemming from some sort of disease or a disorder-based process. It's a sensation that you or your surroundings are spinning when they're actually not.
  • Problems with balance
  • Difficulty walking normally, as evidenced by a wide-based stance or a propensity to fall over
  • Improper coordination of the trunk and limbs
  • Tremors

Other signs and symptoms of cerebellar stroke may include:

  • A really bad headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Problems with vision, hearing, and speech
  • Weakness or numbness
  • Loss of consciousness

Clots: Treatment

Treatment of a cerebellar stroke depends on the cause and type of damage. For example, if a cerebellar stroke has occurred as the result of an obstruction stemming from a blood clot, then doctors may administer drugs called thrombolytics, which dissolve the clots, or blood thinners, like warfarin, which prevent future clots from forming. Thrombolytics act like the substances you pour down drains to unclog them. That's why they're sometimes called clot busters.

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