Ataxia is a condition that indicates lack of muscle control during voluntary movements like picking up objects or walking. In other words it refers to the loss of coordination of muscular movement. Ataxia can affect speech, eye movement, swallowing etc. Persistent ataxia in a person may be due to damage in the cerebellum, i.e. the part of the brain that controls muscle coordination. For example, gait ataxia refers to the condition of walking difficulties owing to a tumor in the brain stem. There are different types of ataxia:
Damage or degeneration to the nerve cells in the brain that controls muscle coordination causes ataxia. Diseases damaging the spinal cord and peripheral nerves connecting the cerebellum and muscles may cause ataxia. Other common causes for Ataxia include:
Ataxia may develop over a period of time or may show up suddenly. Common symptoms include:
Dysfunction of cerebellum leads to this condition. Based on whether the cerebellum has lesions on one or both sides, the symptoms may vary. This condition may set in between the ages of 4 and 26 and can cause the following symptoms:
Proprioception (sense of relative position of neighboring parts of the body) is lost in this condition. A person suffering from this condition may face the following symptoms:
Vestibular system is affected and so the following symptoms may be experienced:
Diagnosis for ataxia include the following
Though there is no specific treatment for ataxia, in a few cases treating the underlying cause can cure the condition. Virus induced ataxia gets cured on its own with time. The other available common treatments for ataxia include:
Muscular dystrophy or MD is a set of inherited disorders characterized by skeletal muscle weakness and death of muscle cells and tissue. Muscular dystrophy is an inherited condition that manifests in symptoms such as frequent falls, drooping eyelids, loss of muscle size, delayed walking and muscle development. A person suffering MD has poor balance, waddling gait and respiratory difficulty. The symptoms tend to get worse over time. Muscle dystrophy can result in abnormally curved spine (scoliosis), low muscle tone (hypotonia) and arrhythmia. DNA blood test, CPK blood test and muscle biopsy is done to diagnose muscular dystrophy. Physical therapy helps gain some muscle strength and function. Surgery is often resorted to. Keeping active is essential to prevent quick degeneration.
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Diseases, Symptoms, Tests and Treatment arranged in alphabetical order:
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: April 9, 2020