What Are The Symptoms Of Ataxia?

What is the life expectancy of someone with ataxia?

Life expectancy is generally shorter than normal for people with hereditary ataxia, although some people can live well into their 50s, 60s or beyond.

In more severe cases, the condition can be fatal in childhood or early adulthood.

For acquired ataxia, the outlook depends on the underlying cause..

What are the types of ataxia?

There are several types of ataxia, including: ataxia telangiectasia (AT), episodic ataxia, Friedreich’s ataxia, multiple system atrophy (MSA) and spinocerebellar ataxia. This condition happens when the part of the brain called the cerebellum is damaged. There is no cure for ataxia, but the symptoms can be treated.

Is ataxia a disability?

If you have Ataxia, you may experience a variety of challenges. Ataxia can be disabling, and if you are unable to work and earn a living because of the severity of the condition, you may qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

How does ataxia start?

Damage, degeneration or loss of nerve cells in the part of your brain that controls muscle coordination (cerebellum), results in ataxia. Your cerebellum comprises two portions of folded tissue situated at the base of your brain near your brainstem.

What is ataxia and what causes it?

Ataxia is usually caused by damage to a part of the brain known as the cerebellum, but it can also be caused by damage to the spinal cord or other nerves. The spinal cord is a long bundle of nerves that runs down the spine and connects the brain to all other parts of the body.

What does ataxia feel like?

Ataxia is a degenerative disease of the nervous system. Many symptoms of Ataxia mimic those of being drunk, such as slurred speech, stumbling, falling, and incoordination. These symptoms are caused by damage to the cerebellum, the part of the brain that is responsible for coordinating movement.

Does ataxia make you tired?

Fatigue. Many people with neurological conditions such as ataxia report feeling extremely tired and lethargic (lacking in energy). It’s thought this is partly caused by disturbed sleep and the physical efforts of having to cope with the loss of co-ordination.

Can ataxia be caused by stress?

Episodes of ataxia and other symptoms can begin anytime from early childhood to adulthood. They can be triggered by environmental factors such as emotional stress, caffeine, alcohol, certain medications, physical activity, and illness. The frequency of attacks ranges from several per day to one or two per year.

What does ataxic gait look like?

Cerebellar gait ataxia is characterized by a wide base of support and a walking path that does not follow a straight line but instead veers in different directions, giving the appearance of stumbling or drunkenness.

Does exercise help ataxia?

Neuromotor exercises and physical therapy focusing on coordination and balance has been shown to improve or halt the progression of functional decline and are the mainstay treatments for Ataxia. The evidence has shown that balance training could improve the quality of walking as well as reduce the risk of falls.

How common is ataxia?

It’s thought to affect at least 1 in every 50,000 people. Symptoms usually first develop before the age of 25, although it can develop in people much older than this. Signs and symptoms of Friedreich’s ataxia can include: problems with balance and co-ordination, often causing wobbliness, clumsiness and frequent falls.

Can ataxia be cured?

There’s no treatment specifically for ataxia. In some cases, treating the underlying cause resolves the ataxia, such as stopping medications that cause it. In other cases, such as ataxia that results from chickenpox or other viral infections, it’s likely to resolve on its own.

Does ataxia affect memory?

The cerebellum plays a role in some forms of thinking. Patients with cerebellar atrophy may have impaired recall of newly learned information or difficulty with “executive functions” such as making plans and keeping thoughts in proper sequence.

Can I drive with ataxia?

Most people with a cerebellar ataxia are able to safely drive.

What kind of doctor treats ataxia?

The National Ataxia Foundation has compiled a list of neurologists across the United States and in some countries who see patients who have Ataxia or other movement disorders.