Ataxia describes a lack of muscle control during voluntary movements, such as walking or picking up objects. A sign of an underlying condition, ataxia can affect movement, speech, eye movement and swallowing. If you aren't aware of having a condition that causes ataxia, such as multiple sclerosis, see your doctor if you Lose balance, Lose muscle coordination in a hand, arm or leg, Have difficulty walking, Slur your speech, Have difficulty swallowing.
Symptoms of Ataxia are Gait/Posture abnormalities, Fine motor incoordination, Speech and swallowing difficulties, Visual abnormalities, Increased fatigue, Cognitive and Mood Problems. Causes are Inherited/Genetic: Autosomal Dominant; Autosomal Recessive; X-Linked; Associated with a Mitochondrial Disorder. Acquired: Structural/Demyelinating; Toxic/Metabolic; Paraneoplastic; Infectious/Postinfectious; Autoimmune.
For ataxia caused by conditions such as multiple sclerosis or cerebral palsy, ataxia might not be treatable. In that case, your doctor may be able to recommend adaptive devices. They include: Canes or walkers for walking, Modified utensils for eating, Communication aids for speaking. As part of a feasibility study for a clinical trial, 40 Ataxia patients were identified in a total population of 40 000 000. Prevalence was estimated at 1 in 250 000 or lower.