Cerebellar mutism syndrome: cause and rehabilitation
AbstractPurpose of review
Mutism of cerebellar origin may occur in the context of various causes but is most frequent in children after resection of a large midline cerebellar tumour. In this review, the endeavour to reach a consensus on name and definition of postoperative mutism of cerebellar origin and associated symptoms is highlighted. In addition, progress in understanding of cause and risk factors for the syndrome is discussed as well as the rehabilitation issues.Recent findings
Consensus on the term cerebellar mutism syndrome (CMS) has been reached. The exact pathogenesis of CMS remains unclear. Recently, attention was drawn to the hypothesis that thermal injury might be an important mechanism in the pathogenesis of CMS. Diffusion tensor imaging tractography was found to visualize the damage to relevant pathways that are associated with persistent impairments after recovery of CMS. There is still no established treatment for CMS to date.Summary
By reaching a consensus on terminology and description of CMS, a firm basis has been created for future research. The pathogenesis of CMS seems multifactorial and important risk factors have been found. However, CMS cannot be effectively prevented yet and no established or specific treatment is available, apart from very general rehabilitation and cognitive interventions.