International Ataxia Awareness Day

International Ataxia Awareness Day

What is Ataxia?

Ataxia is the name given to a group of neurological disorders that affect balance, coordination, and speech. There are many different types of ataxia that can affect people in different ways

Certain types of Ataxia are more common in certain age groups.

Recent studies have shown that there are at least 10,000 adults and 500 children in the UK with progressive Ataxia.

Of course, there are many different causes for ataxia. It’s important to remember that ataxia is a symptom and may occur as a result of many different underlying conditions such as MS.

It can also occur due to head trauma or intoxication. Many ataxia’s are inherited conAtaxia ditions caused by having defects in certain genes. But the most common inherited progressive ataxia is Friedreich Ataxia. It’s the most common form of ataxia because it’s characterized by an inherited mutation in the Frataxin (FXN) gene leading to reduced levels of Frataxin, a protein essential for life and cell survival.

Although at this time there is no actual cure for Ataxia, there are many therapies that would help.

At the early stage of the disease, neuro-rehabilitation would be beneficial.

Counselling and Patient support Groups are recommended.

Speech therapists as Dysarthria is a common symptom of the progressive ataxia’s.

And many more. For any symptoms, there is someone around to help.


How is Ataxia diagnosed?

Ataxia can be diagnosed in many different ways. But can sometimes be quite difficult to get a diagnosis of the specific type of ataxia, as there are many different conditions that can seem very similar.

Patient history

Brain Scans

Family history

Genetic tests

Laboratory tests

Genetic Counselling

Pre-symptomatic genetic testing