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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 8980103, 7 pages
Research Article

Functional Capacity and Motor Performance of Upper Limbs in Individuals with Cerebellar Disorders: A Pilot Study

Master’s and Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy, Universidade Cidade de São Paulo, São Paulo SP, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to Sandra Regina Alouche

Received 28 March 2017; Revised 7 June 2017; Accepted 3 July 2017; Published 8 August 2017

Academic Editor: Luigi Ferini-Strambi

Copyright © 2017 Vivian Farahte Giangiardi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In simple daily activities carried out by the upper limbs, the cerebellum is responsible for the adaptations required for the accurate movement based on previous experiences and external references. This paper aims to characterize the performance of the upper limbs after a cerebellar disease. We evaluated the digital and handgrip strength, dexterity, and function of the upper limbs. The motor performance of the upper limbs was assessed through the use of a digitizing tablet by performing aiming movements with the upper limb most affected by cerebellar disease and the paired limb of the healthy group. The results showed differences between groups: the cerebellar group had higher latency to movement onset, was slower, and presented less smooth trajectories and higher initial direction errors. Moreover, the movement direction influenced the peak velocity and the smoothness for both groups (contralateral directions were slower and less smooth). We concluded that cerebellar disorder leads to movement planning impairment compromising the formulation of an internal model. Alterations on movement execution seem to be a consequence from disruptions in the anticipatory model, leading to more adaptations. These findings are compatible with the roles of the cerebellum on the control of voluntary movement.