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Stanford Medicine 25 An Initiative to Revive the Culture of Bedside Medicine

#11 Cerebellar Exam

Key Learning Points

  • Learn the signs of cerebellar disease, from head to foot
  • Learn the technique of the full cerebellar exam from our video (see video)


Introduction: The cerebellum coordinates unconscious regulation of balance, muscle tone, and coordination of voluntary movements. Therefore, signs suggesting cerebellar disease occur in several different aspects of the body.



Signs of cerebellar disease, from head to foot


historical perspective icon
Historical Perspective

Of historical interest is the “compass test” used prior to the days of CT scans and MRI's. To conduct this test, you have the patient close their eyes and take two steps forward and two steps back; patient will turn toward side of lesion. Of course they must be capable of standing in the first place with eyes closed.