Is ataxia a symptom or a disease?
Ataxia is a degenerative disease of the nervous system. Many symptoms of Ataxia mimic those of being drunk, such as slurred speech, stumbling, falling, and incoordination. These symptoms are caused by damage to the cerebellum, the part of the brain that is responsible for coordinating movement.
Is ataxia fatal?
In more severe cases, the condition can be fatal in childhood or early adulthood. For acquired ataxia, the outlook depends on the underlying cause. Some cases may improve or stay the same, while other cases may get gradually worse over time and reduce life expectancy.
How does ataxia progress?
People with ataxia often have trouble with balance, coordination, swallowing, and speech. Ataxia usually develops as a result of damage to a part of the brain that coordinates movement (cerebellum). Ataxia can develop at any age. It is typically progressive, meaning it can get worse with time.
How long can ataxia last?
The symptoms of Friedreich’s ataxia usually get gradually worse over many years. People with the condition tend to have a shorter life expectancy than normal. Many people live until at least their 30s, and some can live into their 60s or beyond.
Does ataxia worsen with age?
The symptoms of episodic ataxia may disappear as a person gets older, although sometimes the condition gets gradually worse over time. Medication can often help control attacks, and life expectancy is usually normal.
How long do you live with ataxia?
Is there a cure for ataxia?
Ataxia has no cure. There are no medications that can specifically treat and cure the symptoms of ataxias. However, medications may ease the symptoms by treating the underlying condition that causes the ataxia.
Can you die from ataxia?
Friedreich ’s ataxia can shorten life expectancy, and heart disease is the most common cause of death. However, some people with less severe features of Friedreich’s ataxia live into their sixties, seventies, or older.
What can help in living with ataxia?
Treatment for ataxia depends on the cause. Adaptive devices, such as walkers or canes, might help you maintain your independence. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and regular aerobic exercise also might help. Ataxia can develop over time or come on suddenly.
What does it mean to have ataxia?
Ataxia is a movement disorder caused by problems in the brain. When you have ataxia, you have trouble moving parts of your body the way you want. Or the muscles in your arms and legs might move when you don’t want them to. The word ataxia actually means “without coordination.”