Lack of coordination of muscle movements resulting in the impairment or inability to perform voluntary activities. Causes include peripheral nerve disorders, posterior column injuries, cerebral and cerebellar disorders, basal ganglia disorders, and thalamic disorders.
Symptoms of Ataxia
The following features are indicative of Ataxia:
- poor coordination
- difficulty in performing fine motor tasks
- changes in speech fluency
- involuntary back and forth eye movements
- difficulty in swallowing
It is possible that Ataxia shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.
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Common Causes of Ataxia
The following are the most common causes of Ataxia:
- degeneration of nerve cells
- head trauma
- cerebral palsy
- autoimmune diseases
- viral infections
Other Causes of Ataxia
The following are the less common causes of Ataxia:
- brain tumors
- toxic reactions like heavy metal poisoning from lead or mercury
Risk Factors for Ataxia
The following factors may increase the likelihood of Ataxia:
- older age
- abnormal neuroimaging
- neurodevelopmental delay
Prevention of Ataxia
Yes, it may be possible to prevent Ataxia. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
- get advice from genetic counselor before conceiving a child if family history of Ataxia
Occurrence of Ataxia
Number of Cases
The following are the number of Ataxia cases seen each year worldwide:
- Rare between 10K - 50K cases
Common Age Group
Ataxia can occur at any age.
Ataxia can occur in any gender.
Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Ataxia
The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Ataxia:
- Brain MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging): To find out any shrinkage of the cerebellum or other brain structures
- CT scan (Computed tomography): To check the presence of a blood clot or benign tumor that could be pressing on cerebellum
- Lumbar puncture (spinal tap): To remove a sample of cerebrospinal fluid for testing
- Genetic testing: To determine any gene mutation that causes one of the hereditary ataxic conditions
Complications of Ataxia if untreated
Yes, Ataxia causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Ataxia is left untreated:
- recurrent lung infections
Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Ataxia
The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Ataxia:
- Physical therapy: It facilitates motor learning for retraining specific functional motor patterns
Time for Treatment of Ataxia
While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Ataxia to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
- Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced
Last updated date
This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Ataxia.