Question: Can You Drive If You Have Ataxia?

What kind of doctor treats ataxia?

The Ataxia Center Neurologists familiar with the nuances of these disorders work with speech therapists, swallowing experts, physical and occupational therapists as well as genetic counselors, ophthalmologists and psychiatrists to see the patient as a whole person..

Does ataxia make you tired?

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.

How is ataxia diagnosed?

A CT scan or MRI of your brain might help determine potential causes. An MRI can sometimes show shrinkage of the cerebellum and other brain structures in people with ataxia. It may also show other treatable findings, such as a blood clot or benign tumor, that could be pressing on your cerebellum.

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 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 cause dementia?

Dementia occurs only in some forms of spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA), such as SCA1,1 SCA2, SCA3,2 and SCA12,3 developing in the latest stages of the disease.

Can alcoholism cause ataxia?

Alcohol is a cause of late cortical cerebellar degeneration of the anterior lobe. 1-3 These patients typically exhibit ataxia of the lower limbs, ataxia of gait, and trunk instability. Less frequent clinical findings include nystagmus, dysarthria and upper limb incoordination.

Can you walk with ataxia?

Share on Pinterest A person with ataxia may need help walking. There is not usually a cure for ataxia, but treatment can ease symptoms and help improve quality of life.

Does ataxia worse with age?

Ataxia can develop at any age. It is typically progressive, meaning it can get worse with time. It is a rare condition, affecting about 150,000 people in the U.S.

How do you fix ataxic gait?

Intensive physical therapy more than 1 hour per day for at least 4 weeks, focused on balance, gait, and strength training in hospital and home for patients with degenerative cerebellar ataxia can improve ataxia, gait ability, and activity of daily living.

Can ataxia cause pain?

Cerebellar ataxia is also distinguishable from abnormal walking due to pain and/or muscle or orthopedic abnormalities in the hips, legs, or feet.

Can you work with ataxia?

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).

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.

What triggers ataxia?

Persistent ataxia usually results from damage to the part of your brain that controls muscle coordination (cerebellum). Many conditions can cause ataxia, including alcohol misuse, certain medication, stroke, tumor, cerebral palsy, brain degeneration and multiple sclerosis.