How Is Cerebellar Ataxia Treated?

What is the most common cause of cerebellar disease?

Cerebellar disorders have numerous causes, including congenital malformations, hereditary ataxias, and acquired conditions.

Symptoms vary with the cause but typically include ataxia (impaired muscle coordination).

Diagnosis is clinical and often by imaging and sometimes genetic testing..

Does cerebellar 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.

Is cerebellar ataxia progressive?

Many of these dominantly inherited cerebellar ataxias are of later onset. Patients have often already had children before their own inherited condition is diagnosed. Tests are not available for all progressive cerebellar ataxias, and many people are therefore given a diagnosis of idiopathic cerebellar ataxia.

Does cerebellar ataxia get worse?

Ataxia usually develops as a result of damage to a part of the brain that coordinates movement (cerebellum). 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.

Can I drive with cerebellar 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.

Does ataxia affect memory?

The cerebellum plays a role in some forms of thinking. Patients with cerebellar atrophy may have impaired recall of newly learned information or difficulty with “executive functions” such as making plans and keeping thoughts in proper sequence.

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.

How long does cerebellar ataxia last?

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.

What are the symptoms of a damaged cerebellum?

Damage to the cerebellum can lead to: 1) loss of coordination of motor movement (asynergia), 2) the inability to judge distance and when to stop (dysmetria), 3) the inability to perform rapid alternating movements (adiadochokinesia), 4) movement tremors (intention tremor), 5) staggering, wide based walking (ataxic gait …

How do you strengthen your cerebellum?

Exercises that require focused attention have been shown to help cerebellar development. Deliberate and purposeful physical movements, such as balancing on a balance board or working with a therapy ball, will help neurons get the stimulation they need to maximize their functioning.

Can the cerebellum repair itself?

Upon injury of the developing mouse cerebellum, endogenous repair mechanisms can heal the brain and prevent behavioral motor deficits.At the right time, with the right cues, the brain can repair itself.

Is cerebellar ataxia a 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).

What does ataxia feel like?

Ataxia is a degenerative disease of the nervous system. Many symptoms of Ataxia mimic those of being drunk, such as slurred speech, stumbling, falling, and incoordination. These symptoms are caused by damage to the cerebellum, the part of the brain that is responsible for coordinating movement.

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.

Is cerebellar ataxia curable?

Cerebellar ataxia can’t be cured, but some cases can be treated. MAYWOOD, Ill. (March 23, 2015) – No cures are possible for most patients who suffer debilitating movement disorders called cerebellar ataxias.