Ataxia pathophysiology

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Ataxia can have both motor and sensory components. [1], and not all patients with ataxia have disease pathology in the cerebellum. The first symptom for patients with ataxia is usually gait imbalance. Patients experience difficulty in climbing stairs and often hold on to near by objects or railings. Double vision is present in the initial stages, often seen when patients turn their heads quickly. Blurry vision is also common. Patients experience Slurred speech which makes some words difficult to be understood. Also, they can face loss of hand dexterity resulting in handwriting problems and difficulty performing delicate movements [2]

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Most common experiences symptoms are :

  • Uncoordinated movements of the limbs or trunk
  • Clumsiness with daily activities
  • Difficulty walking
  • Speech disturbances with slurred speech and changes in tone, pitch, and volume
  • Visual complaints
  • Abnormal eye movements
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Changes in mental state, such as personality or behavioral changes
  • Chaotic eye movements
  • Difficulty swallowing


  1. Diener HC, Dichgans J (1992). "Pathophysiology of cerebellar ataxia". Mov. Disord. 7 (2): 95–109. doi:10.1002/mds.870070202. PMID 1584245.
  2. Kuo SH (August 2019). "Ataxia". Continuum (Minneap Minn). 25 (4): 1036–1054. doi:10.1212/CON.0000000000000753. PMC 7339377 Check |pmc= value (help). PMID 31356292.

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