Abstract

Fabbro, F., Tavano, A., Corti, S., Bresolin, N., De Fabritiis, P., & Borgatti, R. (2004). Long-term neuropsychological deficits after cerebellar infarctions in two young adult twins. Neuropsychologia, 42(4), 536-545.

Long-term neuropsychological deficits after cerebellar infarctions in two young adult twins

Two young adult dizygotic twins with high schooling suffered two strokes at the ages of 26 and 30 years. On the first occasion, Case 2 suffered a stroke only a few months after Case 1; on the second occasion, Case 1 suffered a second stroke a few months after Case 2. In Case 1, lesions were mainly localized to the left cerebellar hemisphere in both stroke episodes. Case 2 suffered lesions localized to the right cerebellar hemisphere in the first stroke episode, and multiple lesions in both cerebellar hemispheres and the vermis, right pons and left thalamus during the second stroke episode. Seven years after the second stroke, despite full recovery of motor functions, the patients still show mild, yet selective, linguistic deficits (syntactic comprehension deficits, mild agrammatism, reading and writing disorders) without speech disturbances. They also present with selective dysfunctions in visuospatial short-term memory. Language disorders are ascribed to a dysfunction of the cerebellum in Case 1, while in Case 2 a dysfunction of the cerebellum and the thalamus is considered as both structures are part of the so-called 'frontal lobe system', which supports language generation. Visuospatial short-term memory disorders are attributed to an impaired ability to appreciate the organizing structure of the visual task and to poor planning strategies, which are in turn ascribed to cerebellar lesions. The role of the cerebellum in cognitive and linguistic functions is discussed.



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