Ataxia – A Neurological Disorder - Dream Health

Dream Health aims to provide latest information about health, alternative medicine, fitness, yoga and meditation to improve knowledge and life style.

Recent Posts

Thursday 27 March 2014

Ataxia – A Neurological Disorder

Ataxia is described as a group of neurological disorders which can affect the co-ordination of speech and balance. It is caused due to the damage to a part of the brain, to the cerebellum, where the cells in that region of the brain degenerate causing imbalance and various other symptoms, though it can also be caused by damage to various other parts of the nervous system. People with this ailment often experience a failure of muscle control in the arms and legs which results in lack of balance and coordination. At times even the spine gets affected and the phrases cerebellar degeneration and spinocerebellar degeneration are used in describing changes which take place in the person’s nervous system. The symptoms of ataxia can also affect every part of the body causing difficulties in swallowing, vision, walking, besides speech and balance as well as performing task which may need a lot of physical control like writing or eating. There are various types of Ataxia though presently there are more than 50 recorded types while some believe that it could be more than 100, each having their own specific cause.

Ataxia – Acquired and Hereditary 

Cerebellar and spinocerebellar degeneration have various types of causes each depending on the underlying cause of the degeneration. Most cases of ataxia are hereditary which are classified by chromosomal location and pattern of inheritance: like in the case of autosomal dominant, the affected person inherits a normal gene from either of the parent and a faulty gene from the other. In autosomal recessive, the person receives the faulty gene from both the parents and the common inherited ataxia are Friedreich’s ataxia and Machado Joseph disease beside Sporadic ataxia which also occur in families without prior history. Besides inheriting this ailment it can also be acquired through multiple sclerosis, tumors, alcoholism .stroke, metabolic disorders, peripheral neuropathy and vitamin deficiencies. The brain and the damaged nerve associated with ataxia may be a related to neurological condition like MS or it can even be caused by a head injury, excess consumption of alcohol or lack of oxygen to the brain.

ILOCA – Another Type of Ataxia

Besides hereditary and acquired ataxia, idiopathic late onset cerebellar ataxia is also another type of ataxia, ILOCA, where the cerebellum get progressively damaged over a period of time the reason for which is unknown. While some types of ataxia can be treated, there are other cases which may not be cured. In the case of hereditary ataxia and idiopathic late onset cerebellar ataxia, where the symptoms tend to get progressively worse over a period of time, treatment involves in helping the person to cope up with daily problems due to their condition. This could be through rehabilitation including physiotherapy or occupational therapy. Sometime the person may also have the need of a wheelchair to help with mobility and speech and language therapy to help with slurred speech and swallowing difficulties. It is essential to identify the genes responsible in the case of different types of ataxia and how vital are the symptoms in order to develop effective treatments to them.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.