Cerebellar role in Parkinson's disease

J Neurophysiol. 2016 Sep 1;116(3):917-9. doi: 10.1152/jn.01132.2015. Epub 2016 Jan 20.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder associated with motor and cognitive impairments. The mechanisms underlying the pathophysiology and treatments have traditionally focused on basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical pathways due to striatal dopamine loss, but more recent evidence has highlighted the role of the cerebellum. In this Neuro Forum article, I review evidence from neuroimaging and noninvasive brain stimulation that demonstrates altered cerebellar activity in PD may be both a pathophysiological and compensatory mechanism depending on dopaminergic medication and symptoms.

Keywords: Parkinson's disease; brain stimulation; cerebellum; functional connectivity.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebellum / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology*
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology