Sensory and motor electrophysiological mapping of the cerebellum in humans

Reiko Ashida, Peter Walsh, Jonathan C. W. Brooks, Nadia L. Cerminara, Richard Apps, Richard J. Edwards

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Cerebellar damage during posterior fossa surgery in children can lead to ataxia and risk of cerebellar mutism syndrome. Compartmentalisation of sensorimotor and cognitive functions within the cerebellum have been demonstrated in animal electrophysiology and human imaging studies. Electrophysiological monitoring was carried out under general anaesthesia to assess the limb sensorimotor representation within the human cerebellum for assessment of neurophysiological integrity to reduce the incidence of surgical morbidities. Thirteen adult and paediatric patients undergoing posterior fossa surgery were recruited. Sensory evoked field potentials were recorded in response to mapping (n = 8) to electrical stimulation of limb nerves or muscles. For motor mapping (n = 5), electrical stimulation was applied to the surface of the cerebellum and evoked EMG responses were sought in facial and limb muscles. Sensory evoked potentials were found in two patients (25%). Responses were located on the surface of the right inferior posterior cerebellum to stimulation of the right leg in one patient, and on the left inferior posterior lobe in another patient to stimulation of left forearm. No evoked EMG responses were found for the motor mapping. The present study identifies challenges with using neurophysiological methods to map functional organization within the human cerebellum and considers ways to improve success.
Original languageEnglish
Article number177
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2022

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