Ataxia is typically defined as the presence of abnormal, uncoordinated movements. An unsteady, staggering gait is described as an ataxic gait because walking is uncoordinated and appears to be ‘not ordered’. Ataxia can also refer to a group of neurological disorders in which motor behavior appears uncoordinated.
Causes: Inherited/Genetic: Autosomal Dominant; Autosomal Recessive; X-Linked; Associated with a Mitochondrial Disorder, Acquired: Structural/Demyelinating; Toxic/Metabolic; Paraneoplastic; Infectious/Postinfectious; Autoimmune, Idiopathic: Cerebellar form of multiple system atrophy (known as MSA); Idiopathic cerebellar degeneration
Therapy for ataxic patients is multi-modal. Pharmacological treatment has been beneficial in a small number of patients with specific ataxias and further research is ongoing worldwide. Examples of treatable ataxias include those due to deficiencies of vitamin E or coenzyme Q10 and Episodic Ataxia Type 2 (EA2), in which episodes of cerebellar dysfunction are reduced by acetazolamide treatment.