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Ataxia



Ataxia Definition


Ataxia means “lack of order” in Greek where the term originated. It consists of nasty in-coordination of muscle movements which is considered as a neurological sign and symptom. Ataxia is an exact medical sign entailing dysfunction of potions of the nervous system that manage movement for instance the cerebellum. Every September 25th of each year the "International Ataxia Awareness Day" is observed.


Ataxia Diagnosis


Neurological referral – must be considered when the symptom starts. Audiogram and caloric testing – should be performed when the patient experiences dizziness, deafness or tinnitus. CT scan or MRI – must be done in the brain when eight nerves are destroyed. MRI of the brain is very helpful when numerous sclerosis is assumed also spinal fluid for gamma globulin and myelin basic protein. Magnetic resonance angiography – is done if vascular disease is assumed. It will allow evaluation of the vertebral-basilar arteries. If it is not available four-vessel cerebral angiography is used. Neuropathy work-up – is done for those that experience hypoactive movements and glove and stocking hypoesthesia and hypalgesia. Referral to a psychologist – this is done if Ataxia is present in a normal neurologic examination for the psychologist to perform psychometric testing.


Ataxia Symptoms and Signs


Below are the known symptoms for Ataxia: Loss/failure of muscle control Poor/reduced muscle management Clumsiness Staggering Difficulty/troubles in pronouncing words Ataxia


Ataxia Treatment


For the moment there is no known treatment for Ataxia although there might be a treatment for its underlying causes. Ataxia disability may be decreased with physical therapy and exercise, with leg braces, a cane or walker is useful when foot alignment is affected.


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