Redefining cerebellar assessment: A comprehensive review of the cerebellum’s cognitive and affective roles and the efficacy of CCAS scales

Albert Alan, Michelle Ennabe, Muath Alsarafandi, Noor Malik, Edward R. Laws, Martin Weinand

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Emerging research expands our understanding of the cerebellum beyond motor control to include cognitive, emotional, and autonomic functions. This review examines the cerebellum’s complex role, spotlighting Schmahmann’s syndrome, or cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome (CCAS), which impairs executive functions, language, and spatial processing. It emphasizes advancements in diagnosing CCAS and the imperative of developing superior diagnostic tools for managing cerebellar pathologies effectively. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was performed using databases such as PubMed, OVID Embase, and OVID Medline. Using the keywords “cerebellar cognitive, affective syndrome” and “Schmahmann syndrome,” the search was conducted in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses 2020 guidelines for systemic review, in which the selection process narrowed down an initial set of 54 articles to 12, focusing on the impact of the CCAS scale on diagnosing and understanding Schmahmann’s syndrome. Results: The review’s analysis confirms the cerebellum’s roles in motor and cognitive functions and underscores the CCAS scale as a significant advancement in detecting cerebellar deficits, surpassing traditional assessments such as the mini-mental state examination and Montreal cognitive assessment. Conclusion: This review emphasizes the importance of understanding the cerebellum’s involvement in cognition and emotion and the crucial role of the CCAS scale for identifying cerebellar impairments. It calls for better diagnostic tools to assess CCAS accurately and suggests enhancing the CCAS Scale to reflect cultural and educational diversity. This will improve the diagnosis and treatment of cerebellar disorders, promoting a comprehensive neurological perspective on the cerebellum’s functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalSurgical Neurology International
StatePublished - Apr 26 2024


  • Cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome (CCAS)
  • Cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome scale
  • Cerebellum
  • Mini-mental state examination (MMSE)
  • Schmahmann’s syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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