The Cerebrum is the largest part of your brain taking up to 85% of the brains weight. It also controls all your voluntary muscles. Have you ever wondered what makes us walk, dance or give us the ability to handle our daily tasks. A voluntary muscles are the muscles that work depending on how we want them to work, for example, when we need our arm to move towards an object and then have our hands pick up the object.
Let’s break down the cerebrum a little further and see what makes us move. The Cerebellum a small section at the back of your brain right bellow the cerebrum controls our movement, balance and coordination. The cerebellum tells our muscles how to work together. If damage where to occur to the cerebellum our ability to move correctly would be effective. Muscles would not work correctly and eventually lead to break down of the muscles from lack of use.
The brain stem is vital to the involuntary muscles they need to automatically work, for instant the heart and stomach. The brain stem tells our heart to pump blood, the lungs to breath, the stomach to digest food. The brain stem does its job without us telling these part’s what to do. The brain stem is located beneath the cerebellum and connects the brain to the spinal cord.
When the cerebellum is damaged one will suffer from the loss of the ability to walk, or to coordinate fine movements, tremors, slurred speech, dizziness and the failure to make rapid movements. When the brain stem is damaged one may suffer from breathing or heart rate reflexes decreasing, sense of balance will be thrown off, and problems with movement.
The cerebellum has three parts:
The archicerebellum also contains the flocculonodular lobe. This area helps maintain head and neck movement, eye coordination and equilibrium.
Lateral Hemispheres also known as the neocerebellum controls all the quickly and fine toned coordination’s of limb movements.
Lastly the midline vermis also known as the paleocerebellum helps to ensure trunk and leg movements.
According to The Center for Neuro Skills damage to the cerebellum can result in:
1. Loss of motor movement
2. Inability to judge distance or when to stop
3. Inability to perform rapid alternating movements
4. Movement tremors
5. Wide based walking, staggering
7. Weakened muscles
8. Slurred speech
9. Abnormal eye movements
Some main conditions that affect the cerebellar region are stroke, multiple sclerosis, tumors, toxins, chiari malformation, paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration, OPCA, friedreich’s ataxia, olivopontocerebella atrophy, FXTAS and brain injury.
Each disorder can be classified by the signs and symptoms a person is suffering from and diagnostic testing such as CT scans and MRI’s.
Neuroskills: Brain Functions
Merck: Cerebellar Disorders
Center of Neuro skills: Cerebellum