An Intro to the Cat Cerebellum
The cerebellum may be a little part of our cats’ brains (actually, it’s Latin for “little brain”), but makes a big difference in their lives.
The cerebellum doesn’t initiate motor control, rather it fine tunes coordination, precision and accurate timing. Consequently, when the cerebellum is underdeveloped or damaged, like in cerebellar hypoplasia, the result isn’t paralysis, rather there are issues with fine motor movement and balance.
The type of resulting issues depends on the part of the cerebellum that is damaged or underdeveloped. For example:
- Vestibulocerebellum: Regulates balance and eye moments. Damage here can result in an altered gait and a wide stance to help with balancing.
- Spinocerebellum: Regulates body and limb movements.
- Cerebrocerebellum: Plans movement and evaluates sensory information. Damage here may result in problems with skilled voluntary and planned movements. This can impact the force, direction, speed and amplitude of a movement.
Similarly, since the amount of damage or degree of underdevelopment can vary from cat to cat, so can their severities of CH.
The cerebellum also learns how to adjust to changes in sensorimotor relationships. That means that the cerebellum’s synaptic plasticity allows it to repair and change connections between neurons.