Cerebellar involvement in autism and ADHD

Handb Clin Neurol. 2018:155:61-72. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-64189-2.00004-4.


The cerebellum has long been known for its importance in motor learning and coordination. However, increasing evidence supports a role for the cerebellum in cognition and emotion. Consistent with a role in cognitive functions, the cerebellum has emerged as one of the key brain regions affected in nonmotor disorders, including autism spectrum disorder and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. Here, we discuss behavioral, postmortem, genetic, and neuroimaging studies in humans in order to understand the cerebellar contributions to the pathogenesis of both disorders. We also review relevant animal model findings.

Keywords: Purkinje cell; attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder; autism spectrum disorder; brain development; cerebellum; mouse models; neuroimaging; posture.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnostic imaging
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / etiology*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / genetics
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / pathology
  • Autistic Disorder / diagnostic imaging
  • Autistic Disorder / etiology*
  • Autistic Disorder / genetics
  • Autistic Disorder / pathology
  • Cerebellar Diseases / complications*
  • Cerebellar Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebellum / pathology*
  • Humans