Cerebellum: Nuclei – Anatomy Review

by Roy Strowd, MD

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    00:01 So let's use this case to understand the cerebellar nuclei.

    00:05 What are the nuclei? What do they do? And how are they involved in cerebellar function? Well, there's four nuclei.

    00:12 The first is involved in coordinating in the output of the lateral hemispheres and this is the dentate nuclei.

    00:20 This second two are the emboliform and globose nuclei.

    00:23 And those are important for modulating vermis and paravermis circuitry and function.

    00:29 And then the last is the fastigial nucleus, which is involved in verbal outputs.

    00:34 As we recall, the flocculonodular lobe sends its output directly to the midbrain.

    00:41 We can remember these four cerebellar deep nuclei with a mnemonic, Don't Eat Greasy Food, or Dentate, Emboliform, Globose, and Fastigial.

    00:53 If we look at where those are located in the cerebellum, we see here the dentate nuclei are the largest and most abundant deep gray matter nuclei in the cerebellum, located laterally similar to the hemispheres.

    01:04 The emboliform nuclei are located more medially to the dentate nuclei.

    01:10 Here we can see the globose nuclei adjacent to the emboliform.

    01:14 And finally, the fastigial nuclei located more superiorly.

    01:20 What about their function? What are each of these nuclei doing? The dentate nucleus is the output for the frontal cortex and for the parietal cortex.

    01:28 It's involved in that cerebro-cerebellar pathway.

    01:32 The interposed nuclei: the emboliform and globose nuclei are involved in the spinocerebellar tracks in coordinating postural tone, spinal inputs to vermis coordination, and then spinal outputs.

    01:48 And then last the fastigial nucleus is involved in modulating the spinocerebellar pathway receiving sensory afferents, and vestibular and reticular efferents.

    02:01 Note: The flocculonodular lobe relays directly with the vestibular nuclei.

    02:06 This information is involved in coordinating the vestibulo-ocular reflex and not process through a specific cerebellar deep gray matter nucleus.

    02:15 This is important when we're coordinating eye and head movements. It needs to be immediate.

    02:20 And so the less relays, the more reflexive those actions can be.

    02:25 And at the end, I've included a table.

    02:27 This is an important reference for understanding what the cerebellum does, and why that's important? We walked through the lobes of the cerebellum, the tracks, and the deep gray matter nuclei, as well as some of the diseases that affect each of those areas.

    02:42 We talked about the anatomy of the cerebellum.

    02:45 The lateral, intermediate, middle, inner, and the diseases that can affect each of those areas.

    02:51 And this table is an important reference for understanding each of those aspects of the cerebellum.

    02:56 And clinically, when we would think about those.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Cerebellum: Nuclei – Anatomy Review by Roy Strowd, MD is from the course Vertigo, Dizziness, and Disorders of Balance.

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. The flocculonodular lobe relays information directly to the vestibular nuclei.
    2. The fastigial nuclei are located in the lateral hemispheres.
    3. The dentate nuclei send outputs to the cortex via the spinocerebellar tract.
    4. A stroke can impact the vestibulocerebellar tract.
    5. Dandy-Walker disease usually impacts the lateral hemispheres.

    Author of lecture Cerebellum: Nuclei – Anatomy Review

     Roy Strowd, MD

    Roy Strowd, MD

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