MAY 07, 2018 7:45 AM PDT

What is Ataxia?


Ataxia is a degenerative neurological disease that affects movement. It happens in the part of the brain called the cerebellum, which controls voluntary movement of muscles. It also impacts the brain stem and the spinal cord. It can begin anywhere from adolescence through middle age, and the body is involved from "head to toe." People who have it have trouble with eye movements, speech, and swallowing and the symptoms go down from there. They include fine motor trouble with the hands and fingers, walking, picking up objects and being able to dress oneself and do normal daily activities.

There's no cure for it because doctors do not fully understand what goes wrong in the brain to cause it. There are different types of ataxia and treatments depend on what type a patient has. Medications can be given that help with gait or balance and physical and occupational therapy can help patients regain some of the lost movement, but the road is a long one. At one hospital in Hartford CT, a doctor is setting up a support group for patients and their families. The group is located at Hartford Health Care in the Chase Family Movement Disorders Clinic and is helping patients navigate this disease.
About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
You May Also Like
MAR 31, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 31, 2020
This Spider Goes Fishing for Food
Most spiders are land animals, but the fishing spider tends to spend most of its time dwelling on watery surfaces. Fishi ...
APR 16, 2020
Earth & The Environment
APR 16, 2020
NASA Illustrates the Complexities of Atmospheric Chemistry
What do scientists see when looking at Earth’s atmosphere? Well, it’s complicated, especially the chemistry ...
APR 21, 2020
Plants & Animals
APR 21, 2020
Male Silverback Gorilla Gets Rejected After Attempt to Impress Female
Silverback gorillas are somewhat renowned for their powerful arms and legs. In many cases, males use their brute strengt ...
APR 27, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 27, 2020
Hubble Snaps Gorgeous Photo for 30th Anniversary
The Hubble Space Telescope surpassed its 30th year in space on Friday, April 24th. Being that it’s one of the most ...
MAY 18, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAY 18, 2020
Top Secret Military X-37B Space Plane Heads Back to Outer Space
Not much is known about the United States’ Space Force’s top-secret X-37B military space plane apart from th ...
MAY 26, 2020
Earth & The Environment
MAY 26, 2020
"Green Snow" Expected to Increase in Antarctica
When Antarctica comes to mind, the imagery probably includes a vast, frozen, and barren landscape. However, red and gree ...
Loading Comments...