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Eye Movement Disorders and the Cerebellum

Shemesh, Ari A.*; Zee, David S.*,†,‡,§

Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology: November 2019 - Volume 36 - Issue 6 - p 405–414
doi: 10.1097/WNP.0000000000000579
Invited Review
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Summary: The cerebellum works as a network hub for optimizing eye movements through its mutual connections with the brainstem and beyond. Here, we review three key areas in the cerebellum that are related to the control of eye movements: (1) the flocculus/paraflocculus (tonsil) complex, primarily for high-frequency, transient vestibular responses, and also for smooth pursuit maintenance and steady gaze holding; (2) the nodulus/ventral uvula, primarily for low-frequency, sustained vestibular responses; and (3) the dorsal vermis/posterior fastigial nucleus, primarily for the accuracy of saccades. Although there is no absolute compartmentalization of function within the three major ocular motor areas in the cerebellum, the structural–functional approach provides a framework for assessing ocular motor performance in patients with disease that involves the cerebellum or the brainstem.

Departments of *Neurology and

Ophthalmology,

Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and

§Neuroscience, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to David S. Zee, MD, Departments of Neurology, Ophthalmology, Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, and Neuroscience, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, U.S.A.; e-mail: dzee@jhu.edu.

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

© 2019 by the American Clinical Neurophysiology Society