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Neurology Research International
Volume 2012, Article ID 858929, 9 pages
Review Article

Perinatal Cerebellar Injury in Human and Animal Models

1Departments of Neurology and Pediatrics, Newborn Brain Institute, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
2U676 Inserm, Paris, France
3Faculté de Médecine Denis Diderot, Université Paris 7, 75010 Paris, France
4Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris, Service de Pédiatrie et Réanimation Néonatales, Hôpital Robert Debré, 48 Baulevard Sérurier, 75019 Paris, France
5PremUP, Paris, France

Received 30 September 2011; Accepted 29 November 2011

Academic Editor: Tara DeSilva

Copyright © 2012 Valerie Biran 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.


Cerebellar injury is increasingly recognized through advanced neonatal brain imaging as a complication of premature birth. Survivors of preterm birth demonstrate a constellation of long-term neurodevelopmental deficits, many of which are potentially referable to cerebellar injury, including impaired motor functions such as fine motor incoordination, impaired motor sequencing and also cognitive, behavioral dysfunction among older patients. This paper reviews the morphogenesis and histogenesis of the human and rodent developing cerebellum, and its more frequent injuries in preterm. Most cerebellar lesions are cerebellar hemorrhage and infarction usually leading to cerebellar abnormalities and/or atrophy, but the exact pathogenesis of lesions of the cerebellum is unknown. The different mechanisms involved have been investigated with animal models and are primarily hypoxia, ischemia, infection, and inflammation Exposure to drugs and undernutrition can also induce cerebellar abnormalities. Different models are detailed to analyze these various disturbances of cerebellar development around birth.