Cerebellar Strokes

I’ve been writing this blog for over a year…it’s about time I did this post.  I had a stroke in the cerebellum.  The cerebellum is the “little brain.”  It’s the baseball sized thing located at the back of and under the big brain.  Actually, the size of it varies a lot.  This kind of stroke is…..well kinda different.  This is called a posterior stroke, in the back of the brain.  While anterior strokes I think are more common, posterior strokes – if severe enough – are more lethal and can have worse consequences like Locked-In Syndrome.  So I guess I’m “lucky.”  Most strokes will cause some kind of movement issue.  Now, I have movement issues but they have to do with coordinating and controlling my movements rather than my ability to do certain movements.  The cerebellum fine tunes movements, the initiation of movements is controlled elsewhere in the brain.  So I can do any movement at all, it just takes a while and a lot of it looks bad – it’s uncoordinated and shaky.  And my balance is off.  It used to be way, way off but now it’s just off.  My fine motor control is pure crap.  Well no it’s not, it used to be pure crap but now it’s better, now it’s just crap.  A lot of strokes will cause difficulty with word finding and speaking.  I have speech issues but again they involve the coordination of the muscles that produce my speech rather than an inability to speak or find a word.  Some strokes affect personality and emotions – mine did not.  Some strokes will cause sensation issues such as pain, numbness, or tingling – mine did not.  But this can happen with cerebellar strokes and I have met some people who had posterior strokes who have sensation issues.  I was at a stroke support group recently and I commented that most people who have had a stroke seem to be right side affected and a woman said “and that means that the left side of our brain was injured.”  In most cases, yes, but not in my case.  Generally, the body is controlled by the opposite side of the brain, but not the cerebellum.  The stuff that the cerebellum controls is on the same side of the body.

No matter where in the brain you had a stroke, it’s all brain damage.  There really is no difference between me and my friend who had a stroke in her left frontal lobe – we both have brain damage.  We may have different effects from our strokes and her and I have to work on different things but it’s all brain damage.

Categories: Brain stuff, Health, Recovery, Stroke stuff

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35 replies

  1. Is that what is sometimes referred to as the reptilian or lizard brain?

    • Maybe…I’ve never heard it referred to as that….off to Google I go…..

    • im four months into my recovery from stroke to cerebellum and SaH (right sided)..balance is way off..an sometimes need to search for words. does anyone have an idea how long recovery takes? also, did stroke have effect of vision loss??

      • My husband has been in recover for about 2.5 months. Though his eyes have gotten better, he still has pretty severe vision issues. Nystagmus and double vision, to be exact. It has gotten better, though. And his OT says that with therapy she can help it get a lot better. You should visit a neuro optometrist.

  2. Wonderful & informative post. Great job! 🙂

  3. From one cerebellar stroke survivor to another…thanks! 🙂

  4. I was just diagnosed todaynwith a stroke in the right side of the cerebellum. Thanks for posting this. Good luck to you.

    • And you’re well enough to google and research… Let alone type!? Amazing! My husband has been in recovery for about 2.5 months from an injury to his cerebellum. He is definitely not recovered enough to use the computer yet. So, good for you! Best wishes for an awesome recovery.

      • Thanks, he’ll get there. I couldn’t use a computer at 2.5 months.

      • It took them two weeks to tell me it was a stroke In the cerebellum. It happened on June 13, 2013. They did two MRIs and an MRA the next morning. the neurologist on call then said it was a mini-stroke. The next day he said no it was demyelinating focus. But two weeks later with no improvement I saw a different neurologist who diagnosed me with a stroke on the right side of the cerebellum. My vision was badly affected the first couple weeks. It has been a little more than three weeks now and my vision is back to normal. I still have bad headaches, occasional balance issues, minor speech difficulties, and a tingling in my face and tongue. Best wishes to your husband, Brooke F. He is in my prayers.

        • Thanks Tammy. So glad your eyes have gottwn better! His eyesight was badly affected, too. Still is. He sees double and blurred. I am REALLY hoping and praying that it resolves soon! It has gotten better. His nystagmus has gotten a lot better but it is still there. And his vision seems to change a lot. Hoping that it just keeps getting better. That is probably the worst out of all his symptoms. But all of his balance, coordination, speech, and fine motor skills were wiped out. He was in ROUGH shape. But he ia gettinf bwttwr now… slowly. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes. He needs it a lot!

    • You’re welcome and thanks. Good luck to you too.

  5. Souns like the same as my stroke. Trying to explain a cerebellar stroke has bee fun. You did a good job. Mind if I borrow?

  6. Keep moving forward every day! Best of luck

  7. Can I just say that locked in syndrome is just about the scariest thing I can imagine experiencing. Talk about pure torture. At one time zack had extremely minimal ability to move or speak. Not only did he have a speech disorder he also had a very hard time communicating, period. He had said, and still does at times, that he feels trapped inside. He told me right after going to rehab that he was “trying to come out.” That was and still is pretty hellacious… he has come a long way! Thank God. But that was nothing compared to true locked in syndrome. Wow. Nightmarish for all involved. Do you know of any stats for people who become locked in and stay?

  8. In my case the left side of my face, but the right side of the rest of me, was affected.

    I take glaucoma eye drops but can’t feel them in my left eye. I have diplopia which is due to my left eye; my right one seems only slightly affected if at all.

    On my right side below the head I lost all sense of temperature (if I grab anything hot with my right hand there is a severe pain which does not feel like “hot” but just a pain, I assumme it’s neuropathic. The ataxia seems to affect both legs but more the right than the left.

  9. My mom had a cerebellum stroke four days ago and her whole right side was affected. She can move everything but has poor coordination and balance. She cannot walk without falling to the right. Today she was admitted to a rehabilitation place and will go through some rehab. Can anybody tell me the chances of her being able to walk again without help?

  10. HI Amy,
    My name is Dora and my husband Luis had a cerebellar and a left occipital stroke 4 months ago. Due to the cerebellar stroke, he has lost coordination and balance. His right arm tremor had improved, but suddenly it came back. Lately he has a new intentional tremor on his right leg. What is happening? His doctor tells him that he is over stressed. Could this be the explenation

    • I’m sorry Dora. It’s only been 4 months and that’s like no time at all. Swelling in the brain lasts a couple years so there might be different symptoms that come and go. But the stress answer – yes, I will never underestimate what stress can do. Try to eliminate all stress for him. There is no room in his life for stress right now.

  11. Hi all…well here I am 3 months out from my cerebellum stroke. I tried to go back to work at 6 weeks…but my balance deteriorated dramatically (I have an incredibly stressful job) so the doc took me back off work for 3-6 months. I find it amazing that healing takes that long? I thought since I have only fatigue and balance issues I would bounce back. What a mistake! As I read the above comments, I feel so much better that fatigue and balance issues are my only problems. So I am trying rest and meditation and sure hope I do fully recover like my docs have stated should occur. How long did all of you take to feel less fatigued and more balanced? I know everyone is different…but is it true that its not uncommon to go a year before things are much improved? Frustrating for sure…but I am very thankful I have as little impairment as I do…..blessings..


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