How Fast Does Ataxia Progress?

How bad can ataxia get?

Ataxia affects people of all ages.

Age of symptom-onset can vary widely, from childhood to late-adulthood.

Complications from the disease are serious and oftentimes debilitating.

Some types of Ataxia can lead to an early death..

Does ataxia get worse?

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.

What does ataxia feel like?

A sign of a number of neurological disorders, ataxia can cause: Poor coordination. Unsteady walk and a tendency to stumble. Difficulty with fine motor tasks, such as eating, writing or buttoning a shirt.

Does ataxia qualify for disability?

Ataxia can be disabling, and if you are unable to work and earn a living because of the severity of the condition, you may qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA).

What does ataxic gait look like?

Ataxic gait is often characterized by difficulty walking in a straight line, lateral veering, poor balance, a widened base of support, inconsistent arm motion, and lack of repeatability. These symptoms often resemble gait seen under the influence of alcohol.

What is the life expectancy of someone with ataxia?

Life expectancy is generally shorter than normal for people with hereditary ataxia, although some people can live well into their 50s, 60s or beyond. In more severe cases, the condition can be fatal in childhood or early adulthood. For acquired ataxia, the outlook depends on the underlying cause.

Does ataxia get better?

In a few cases of ataxia, it may be possible to improve the condition or stop it getting worse by treating the underlying cause. For example: ataxia with vitamin E deficiency can often be controlled or improved with vitamin E supplements.

Can ataxia go away?

There is no cure for ataxia. The outlook will depend on the type, cause, and severity. Some types of hereditary ataxia can shorten a person’s lifespan, but many people will have the same life expectancy as those without the condition.

Can you drive if you have ataxia?

Most people with a cerebellar ataxia are able to safely drive.

Does ataxia make you tired?

Ataxia and fatigue One of the problems commonly reported by people with ataxia is fatigue. Fatigue is described as an overwhelming feeling of physical or mental tiredness. Most of us feel tired after a long day, but people with ataxia can experience tiredness that is quite different without an obvious cause.

Does ataxia affect memory?

There may de difficulty expressing thoughts logically and coherently, and memory problems, particularly with working, or scratch pad, memory. Mood changes include depression, apathy, irritability and limited frustration tolerance.

Can ataxia be caused by stress?

Episodes of ataxia and other symptoms can begin anytime from early childhood to adulthood. They can be triggered by environmental factors such as emotional stress, caffeine, alcohol, certain medications, physical activity, and illness.