Scales for the clinical evaluation of cerebellar disorders

Handb Clin Neurol. 2018;154:329-339. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-63956-1.00020-5.


Clinical scales represent an important tool not only for the initial grading/scoring of disease and assessment of progression, but also for the quantification of therapeutic effects in clinical trials. There are several scales available for the clinical evaluation of cerebellar symptoms. While some scales have been developed and evaluated for specific cerebellar disorders such as Friedreich ataxia, others reliably capture cerebellar symptoms with no respect to the underlying etiology. Each scale has its strengths and weaknesses. Extensive scales are certainly useful for thorough documentation of specific features of certain phenotypes, but this gain of information is not always essential for the purpose of a study. Therefore, compact and manageable scales like the Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA) or Brief Ataxia Rating Scale (BARS) are often preferred compared to more complex scales in observational and therapeutic studies.

Keywords: BARS; FARS; ICARS; SARA; ataxia scales.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Cerebellar Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cerebellar Diseases / psychology
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Humans
  • Neurologic Examination / methods*
  • Neurologic Examination / standards
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods*
  • Severity of Illness Index