In 1914, Von Monakow described diaschisis, the recovery of lost cortical function in regions positionally distant from, but linked by neuronal tracts to, the primary site of cortical damage. Cerebellar diaschisis after cortical insult is detailed in the literature; however, cortical diaschisis after cerebellar insult remains a rarely reported occurrence. We describe a 36- year-old woman with rupture of a right-sided cerebellar arteriovenous malformation who developed such expected cerebellar signs as ataxia, dysmetria, and nystagmus. Days later, the patient developed profound impulsivity, disinhibition, and psychomotor agitation. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) showed decreased perfusion of the bilateral frontal and temporal lobes, consistent with regional loss of neural activity. Eventual clinical improvement corresponded with reperfusion of those regions, identified on follow-up SPECT. This case documents cortical diaschisis following cerebellar insult and shows that diaschisis must be considered in patients with cerebral injury manifesting cortical deficits remote from the site of primary pathology.
Hausen, H. S., Lachmann, E. A., & Nagler, W. (1997). Cerebral diaschisis following cerebellar hemorrhage. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 78(5), 546–549. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0003-9993(97)90175-1