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Functions of Purkinje cells and Disease associated with Purkinje cells

Purkinje cells are important for the proper functioning of the cerebellum and have several functions, including:

1. Motor coordination and control: Purkinje cells receive inputs from various sources, which they integrate and use to generate output signals that modulate motor activity.

2. Learning and memory: Purkinje cells are involved in learning and memory processes, particularly in the context of motor learning.

3. Timing and rhythm: Purkinje cells help regulate the timing and rhythm of movements, which is critical for smooth and efficient motor control.

4. Sensorimotor integration: Purkinje cells receive sensory information from the body and use it to generate appropriate motor responses.

Diseases associated with Purkinje cells include:

1. Ataxia: Ataxia is a group of disorders that affect the cerebellum and its associated circuits, including Purkinje cells. Ataxia can cause problems with motor coordination, balance, and speech.

2. Spinocerebellar ataxias: Spinocerebellar ataxias are a group of inherited disorders that affect Purkinje cells and other cells in the cerebellum. These disorders can cause progressive problems with coordination, balance, and speech.

3. Autism spectrum disorders: Some studies have suggested that dysfunction of Purkinje cells may be involved in the pathophysiology of autism spectrum disorders, which are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by social and communication deficits.

4. Schizophrenia: Some research has suggested that dysfunction of Purkinje cells may be involved in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, which is a complex neuropsychiatric disorder characterized by a range of symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking.