Cerebellar degeneration is a disease process in which neurons in the cerebellum - the area of the brain that controls muscle coordination and balance - deteriorate and die. Diseases that cause cerebellar degeneration can also involve areas of the brain that connect the cerebellum to the spinal cord, such as the medulla oblongata, the cerebral cortex, and the brain stem. Cerebellar degeneration is most often the result of inherited genetic mutations that alter the normal production of specific proteins that are necessary for the survival of neurons.

Prepared by the National Institutes of Health