speech changes, and abnormalities in eye movements.
Causes & Treatment
Difficulty controlling your muscle movements is called ataxia. Ataxia is not a diagnosis. This lack of organized activity is a condition that has multiple causes. It is usually due to injury to the neurons in the cerebellum which lies underneath the cerebrum at the base of the brain and is responsible for coordination of movement. Ataxia often affects walking and hand movements. Other muscular systems can also be also be affected, especially the muscles involved in eye movements, swallowing and speech.
A wide, staggering gait, similar to that seen in an intoxicated person.
Difficulty with writing or eating.
Abnormal, back and forth eye movements, called nystagmus.
Difficulty swallowing, feeling that something’s caught in your throat.
Slurred speech because of the inability to coordinate tongue and lips.
There are a wide variety of causes. Alcohol is the commonest but viral illnesses like chicken pox can cause a temporary ataxia.
Treatments for ataxia
> Devices that will help you function better: walkers, special eating utensils, communication devices.
> Physical therapy to improve your balance and mobility.
> Speech therapy to help overcome the slurring.
> Occupational therapy to improve your capability to handle your daily activities.
> Medications for problems such as depression, spasticity, dizziness, muscle cramps and tremors.
> Ataxia can be hard to live with but your doctor can help you cope.
If you have the symptoms of ataxia and are not under a doctor’s care, set up an appointment today. Help is available at the Balance & Dizziness Center to make life better.
Prevent future life-threatening accidents
With painless and non-invasive treatments at our clinic.