Cerebellar Ataxia-Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

The term ‘Ataxia’ refers to loss of total control of bodily movements.

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Cerebellar ataxia is a type of Ataxia disease. The disease is basically related to uncoordinated movement of the body as well as imbalanced movement. This disease is categorized as a rare physical malfunction and as the name suggest, it is associated with malfunction of cerebellum. The cerebellum is a significant brain part which is responsible for coordinating as well as controlling the body movement. There are several causes of the disease which are mentioned below:

Causes of Cerebellar Ataxia:

Cerebellar Ataxia may or may not be an inherited disease. In case, when the prevalence of the diseases is determined to be result of inheritance, it is usually due to transmission of defective gene to the fetus or infant in the womb. This gene may be passed on through generation and may be present in the family bloodline since several generations. There are four types of inheritance of cerebellar ataxia, which are as follows:

INHERITED Cerebellar ataxia:

Autosomal Dominant inheritance:

In case of autosomal dominant inheritance a defective gene is passed on to the child from only one parent. When this takes place, there are approximately 50% chances that the ataxia may be passed on to further offspring. Autosomal Dominant Cerebellar Ataxia abbreviated as ADCA is also sometime referred to as Spinocerebellar Ataxia abbreviated as SCA.

Autosomal recessive Inheritance:

In autosomal recessive inheritance both parents passes on one defective gene to the child. In such as cases the parents serve as carrier, however, they themselves may not suffer from cerebellar ataxia. In such a case, wherein both parents are carriers, the child may produce offspring with 50 percent chances of being free from the disease but they may be carrier of the defect. However, autosomal recessive inheritance, there are 25 percent chances that the offspring may be influenced by the defected gene. One of the kinds of ataxia that can be classified under this category is Friedreich’s Ataxia.

Mitochondrial ataxia:

In case of mitochondrial ataxia the genes dwelling in the mitochondria of cell undergoes mutation which leads to the issue. This kind of cerebellar ataxia inheritance is only because of mother, as the child only takes mitochondria from his maternal side (inheritance from mother).


In case of x linked inheritance only male gender is affected by the diseases while the female gender may be a carrier. X-linked inheritance is seldom diagnosed.

NON-INHERITED Cerebellar Ataxia:

Non inherited cerebellar ataxia is also known as Sporadic Cerebellar ataxia. Non inheritance cerebellar ataxia may be caused due to any of the following reasons:

• Surgical treatment for brain

• Head injury

• Cerebral palsy or CP

• MS of Multiple sclerosis

• Alcohol abuse

• Toxic substances

• Viral infection

• Deficiency of vitamins

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• Deformation of cerebellum in fetus or unborn baby (This is prominent cause of cerebellar ataxia noticed after birth)

It should be known that sporadic cerebellar ataxia is a condition which is non progressive, which means that symptoms do not worsen.

Cerebellar ataxia symptoms:

In cerebellar ataxia the symptoms severity may vary according to the patient. For some affected individuals the symptoms may progress to turn worse, whereas in other cases the symptoms may be benign. There are several symptoms associated with the disease, the below mentioned points are some symptoms of the condition:

• Involuntary eye movement

• Uncoordinated movement of body

• Slurred and unclear speech

• Problem imbibing consumable

• Ocular disability

• Hearing issues

• Change in behavior

Cerebellar Ataxia Diagnosis:

Since several neurological issues demonstrate similar signs and symptoms, it may sometimes become difficult to determine the prevalence of cerebellar ataxia. In case of sporadic cerebellar ataxia, a neurologist asks you to undergo quite a few tests. Here are some of the diagnosis techniques that you may have to attend.

Brain scanning:

You doctor may ask you to undergo a brain scan tests through technology such as MRI or magnetic resonance imaging. This test will provide an image of the cerebellum and enable the doctor to determine any damages or issues related to the cerebellum.

Tracking Genealogical history and medical background of patient:

Looking in the history of family and patient’s medical background will help the doctor to learn about the cause of ataxia. The doctor may be able to determine whether the disease has aroused due to alcohol consumption, tumor or hereditary factors. Incase parents as well as grandparents have history of ataxia affliction, then there are chances that the patients may suffer from autosomal dominant inheritance. Whereas, if parents have no history of affliction of the diseases but one of the children has ataxia, then autosomal recessive inheritance may be diagnosed.

Genetic examinations:

These genetic tests aids in determining the kind of inheritance related to the affliction of cerebellar ataxia. These tests are usually conducted in laboratories under complete setting based on the sample taken from the patient’s body.

Treatment for cerebellar ataxia:

It is believed that the disease, cerebellar ataxia, cannot be healed completely; however, appropriate treatments may aid the patient to live normally like others. For patients who have lost the control over body movement and are unable to coordinate the movements properly, it is suggested to take wheelchair assessment. These patients may also benefit from treatments techniques such as Physiotherapy. Problems such as slurred speech and swallowing issues may be cured to some extent by undergoing speech therapies under assistance of a certified therapist.

There are cases wherein patient may suffer from deficiency of vitamins; these deficiencies are cured through strategized diet plans as suggested by your doctor. There are some efficacious medications that may help patients suffering from voluntary eye movement as well as muscles spasm in obtaining relief from the condition. Mild cerebellar ataxia or non- progressive ataxia such as viral infection, etc, may get cured quickly through the time.

There are many afflicted people who are living normally through appropriate treatment for the disease. The treatment for cerebellar ataxia is greatly depended on the signs and symptoms of the disease as well as the type of cerebellar ataxia.

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