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what is ataxia?

Ataxia means a symptom of imbalance.
There are many types of ataxia. And it doesn't always mean a disease, but it could just be a symptom.
Ataxias can be cerebellar (when the cause is in the cerebellum, a part of the brain).
Vestibular (when the cause is in the hearing, as in labyrinthopathies), sensitive (when the cause is in the sensory pathways), or even frontal (when the cause is in the frontal lobe of the brain)
And there are many causes of ataxia.
Such as genetic ataxias (which can be hereditary) and acquired (such as infectious, due to vitamin B12 deficiency, among many other possibilities).

Ataxias ultimately lead toimbalanceand theDifficulty coordinating movements.

It often gives an appearance that the person is "drunk", due to difficulty walking, picking up objects and even speaking.

The symptoms can appear abruptly, without progression or a period of worsening, as in strokes, they can be recurrent, with episodes of improvement and worsening, or progressive, as in genetic cases.

There are several types of ataxias.

cerebellar ataxias,that can besporadic, in which there is no history of familial involvement,hereditary(where they pass dos parents to children),acquired, such as those due to vitamin deficiency, or infections,stroke, among others.

but there is alsosensory ataxias and labyrinthine ataxias.

The diagnosis is almost always very difficult, and it is common to go to several doctors, until the neurologist specializing in movement disorders diagnoses and investigates the cause.

tratamento de ataxia em curitiba com neurologista

How are ataxias diagnosed?

Odiagnosis of ataxiascan be challenging for a general neurologist. First, the initial symptoms can be very difficult to observe. Then because most of the causes are rare and it is very possible for a doctor to spend a lifetime without seeing any case. 

Adiagnostic investigationse  starts with the detailed clinical examination inside the office, often requiring investigation tests such as magnetic resonance imaging of the skull, laboratory tests (some very specific), lumbar puncture and many others.

when there isfamily historyof neurological impairment, the genetic test is ideal to close the diagnosis accurately.

Rarer causes of Cerebellar Ataxias

spinocerebellar ataxias

Machado-Joseph disease
Friederich's ataxia
cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis
ataxia teleangiectasia

If you want to know more about any of these or other diseases, just get in touch or ask below! 
In doubt, schedule your appointment and be evaluated!

How is Ataxia Treated?

neurologista ataxia em curitiba

Otreatment of ataxiasthey vary a lot, according to their cause. Acquired causes such as vitamin deficiency and infections are treated in a specific way and cure is possible. When the disease is genetic and hereditary, curative treatment is very unlikely and the disease is controlled through medication that alleviates the symptoms.

​ It is very important to keep in mind that ataxia can be a symptom of more complex diseases, with other associated symptoms. For this reason, a neurologist specializing in movement disorders should always follow up, in order to make the correct diagnosis and anticipate possible associated symptoms and treat when possible.

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