Development of a Psychiatric Disorder Linked to Cerebellar Lesions

Michela Lupo, Giusy Olivito, Libera Siciliano, Marcella Masciullo, Marco Bozzali, Marco Molinari, Maria Leggio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cerebellar dysfunction plays a critical role in neurodevelopmental disorders with long-term behavioral and neuropsychiatric symptoms. A 43-year-old woman with a cerebellum arteriovenous malformation and history of behavioral dysregulation since childhood is described. After the rupture of the cerebellar malformation in adulthood, her behavior morphed into specific psychiatric symptoms and cognitive deficits occurred. The neuropsychological assessment evidenced impaired performance in attention, visuospatial, memory, and language domains. Moreover, psychiatric assessment indicated a borderline personality disorder. Brain MRI examination detected macroscopic abnormalities in the cerebellar posterior lobules VI, VIIa (Crus I), and IX, and in the posterior area of the vermis, regions usually involved in cognitive and emotional processing. The described patient suffered from cognitive and behavioral symptoms that are part of the cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome. This case supports the hypothesis of a cerebellar role in personality disorders emphasizing the importance of also examining the cerebellum in the presence of behavioral disturbances in children and adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Feb 19 2018


  • Arteriovenous malformation
  • Behavioral disorder
  • Cerebellum
  • Developmental lesions
  • Tractography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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