What is ataxia?
Ataxia means clumsiness of movement or loss of coordination that is not the result of muscle
weakness. The word “ataxia” might be used simply to mean poor coordination, or it might be used in a more
specific way to denote a degenerative disease of the nervous system. Ataxia may affect the fingers and
hands, the arms or legs, the body, speech or eye movements. This loss of coordination may be caused
by a number of different medical or neurological conditions. For this reason, it is important that a
person with ataxia seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause of the symptom and
to receive the appropriate treatment.
What causes ataxia?
Most often ataxia is caused by loss of function in the part of the brain, the cerebellum, which serves as the
coordination center. The cerebellum is located toward the back and lower part of the brain. The right side
of the cerebellum controls coordination on the right side of the body and the left side controls
coordination on the left. The central part of the cerebellum controls the very complex movements of
gait or walking, head and trunk stability and eye movements. Other parts of the cerebellum help to
coordinate eye movements, speech and swallowing. Ataxia may also be caused by dysfunction of the
pathways leading into and out of the cerebellum. Information comes into the cerebellum from the
spinal cord, inner ear and other parts of the brain and signals from the cerebellum go out to the spinal cord
and to the brain. Although the cerebellum does not directly control strength, (motor function) or feeling,
(sensory function) the motor sensory pathways must work properly to provide the correct input into the
cerebellum. Thus, a person with impaired strength or sensation may notice clumsiness or poor
coordination, and the doctor may say that person has ataxia.
If you would want to know more about Ataxia and the things they are doing to help find a cure or at least medications to help please visit the website http://www.ataxia.org/
This might be something that you don't deal with, but there are people suffering from this everyday and they are suffering without a lot of media for a cure. Thanks