This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Cerebellar degeneration refers to the deterioration of neurons (nerve cells) in the cerebellum (the area of the brain that controls muscle coordination and balance). Conditions that cause cerebellar degeneration may also affect other areas of the central nervous system, such as the spinal cord, the cerebral cortex (the thin layer of cells covering the brain), and the brain stem. Signs and symptoms of cerebellar degeneration may include a wide-based, uncoordinated walk; a back and forth tremor in the trunk of the body; uncoordinated movements of the arms and legs; slow and slurred speech; and nystagmus. Cerebellar degeneration can be caused by a variety of factors including inherited gene changes (mutations), chronic alcohol abuse, and paraneoplastic disorders. Treatment for cerebellar degeneration varies depending on the underlying cause.
For more information, visit GARD.