"Real life" executive deficits in patients with focal vascular lesions affecting the cerebellum

J Neurol Sci. 2009 Aug 15;283(1-2):95-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2009.02.316. Epub 2009 Mar 5.


The aim of this study was to investigate everyday executive functioning abilities in patients with focal cerebellar lesions using an executive battery sensitive for the detection of damage to the prefrontal cortex, including a "real life" situation task. Eleven patients with focal cerebellar infarcts were studied prospectively after their injury. All subjects underwent a complete neurological, neuropsychiatric, and neuropsychological examination, as well as a specific computerized battery (Test of Attentional Performance), and an "ecological" test: the Multiple Errands Task-hospital version (MET-hv, adapted version). Significant differences were found between patients and normal controls in language and executive functions tasks. Significant differences were observed in the flexibility subscale of the Test of Attentional Performance and several subscales of the MET-hv (total amount of failures, interpretation failures, task completion score, and inefficiencies subscale). This study supports previous reports showing a pattern of cognitive abnormalities following focal cerebellar damage that includes impairments of executive function. Moreover, it suggests that the ecological test used in this investigation might be useful for the detection of deficits in real-life executive functioning among this patient population.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Brain Infarction / psychology*
  • Cerebellum / blood supply*
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language Tests
  • Male
  • Mental Processes*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests