is a condition in which a person loses full control of bodily movement. It can affect the arms and legs and lead to lack of coordination, and limit functioning.

What is Ataxia?

Ataxia results from dysfunctions in the area of the brain that controls muscle function, and causes problems with balance and coordination. Patients can experience difficulty walking or grasping objects. The cause is related to abnormal proteins produced by a defective gene. It can also result from disease, infection, head trauma, or . Symptoms may include problems with balance and coordination, slurred speech, or difficulty writing, eating, or swallowing.

Diagnosing Ataxia

A physician will need a thorough physical examination, a review of symptoms and family history to begin a diagnosis. As the condition is often caused by a defective gene, a genetic test could be ordered. A provider may order laboratory tests or imaging tests like (MRI) to aid in the diagnosis.

Treatment for Ataxia

There is no specific treatment for ataxia itself, so treatment depends largely on the cause, and relieving symptoms. Patients may use adaptive devices such as walking sticks, or benefit from physical, occupational, or speech therapy.

The providers at the Clinical Neuroscience Institute’s Movement Disorders Center are dedicated to finding the treatment options that fits your individual needs so you can enjoy the day-to-day activities that matter to you.