What Does Ataxia Feel Like?

How long can you live with cerebellar 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..

Does ataxia make you tired?

The impaired regulation of coordinated movements may lead to increased fatigue because of the need to expend more effort to perform activities that are no longer fluid or coordinated. Patients with ataxia often report needing to “concentrate on” their movements.

What are the early signs of ataxia?

What are common symptoms of ataxia?Balance and coordination are affected first.Incoordination of hands, arms, and legs.Slurring of speech.Wide-based gait.Difficulty with writing and eating.Slow eye movements.

Does ataxia qualify for disability?

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 bad can ataxia get?

Ataxia affects people of all ages. Age of symptom-onset can vary widely, from childhood to late-adulthood. Complications from the disease are serious and oftentimes debilitating. Some types of Ataxia can lead to an early death.

Does ataxia show up on MRI?

Imaging studies. An MRI can sometimes show shrinkage of the cerebellum and other brain structures in people with ataxia. It may also show other treatable findings, such as a blood clot or benign tumor, that could be pressing on your cerebellum.

Can you drive with ataxia?

Most people with a cerebellar ataxia are able to safely drive. It is the duty of someone who develops a cerebellar disorder to notify the road licensing authority in their state, to ensure that their driver’s license is valid and that they are covered by their insurance.

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 triggers ataxia?

Persistent ataxia usually results from damage to the part of your brain that controls muscle coordination (cerebellum). Many conditions can cause ataxia, including alcohol misuse, certain medication, stroke, tumor, cerebral palsy, brain degeneration and multiple sclerosis.

Does ataxia worse with age?

Ataxia can develop at any age. It is typically progressive, meaning it can get worse with time. It is a rare condition, affecting about 150,000 people in the U.S.

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.

Can ataxia go away?

If ataxia results from an injury or illness, such as a stroke, symptoms often improve over time and may eventually go away completely.

How do you test for ataxia?

Genetic testing involves taking a sample of blood and testing the DNA in it for any genetic mutation known to cause ataxia. Currently, tests can detect the mutations responsible for Friedreich’s ataxia, ataxia-telangiectasia and most of the spinocerebellar ataxias.

What does ataxic gait look like?

An unsteady, staggering gait is described as an ataxic gait because walking is uncoordinated and appears to be ‘not ordered’. Many motor activities may be described as ataxic if they appear to others, or are perceived by patients, as uncoordinated.