What is Ataxia?
Ataxia is known as a lack of muscle coordination which may affect speech, eye movements, the ability to swallow, walking, picking up objects, and other voluntary movements. Ataxia often describe symptoms of impaired coordination which can be associated with infections, injuries, or degenerative changes in the central nervous system.
It is also used to denote a group of specific degenerative diseases of the nervous system, called the hereditary ataxias.
Symptoms and time of onset vary according to the kind of ataxia. There are variations even within the same family with the same type of ataxia. However some common symptoms of the disease are:
- Difficulty in doing tasks, such as buttoning a shirt, eating or writing
- Slurring of speech
- Difficulty in balancing
- Poor co-ordination
- Difficulty in swallowing
Some common causes of Ataxia are:
- Damage to the brain or spinal cord
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Brain tumour
- Multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and some other neurological diseases
The common risk with ataxia are:
- Breast cancer in females
- Cardiovascular diseases
How is it diagnosed?
Our doctor at Sumitra hospital might use the following approaches to diagnose ataxia:
- Neurological and medical history, including drug and toxin exposures
- Family history of neurological problems
- Neurological and medical examinations
- Blood tests to rule out specific deficiencies and toxins