Ataxia physical examination
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Mental status examination
Abnormalities in higher cortical functions like executive functions, spatial orientation, motor memory, language functions, and emotional recognition and production
- Impairment of consciousness,
- Visual changes,
- Trouble speaking and swallowing,
- Focal sensory loss or weakness,
- Slow and abnormal movements,
- Cognitive impairment, and
- Behavior changes.
The gait is affected in almost all patients. Patients cannot stand with their feet together. Tests like tandem stance or walking can be used. Gait is wide-based. Also, we can see impaired cerebellar functions, like limb dysmetria, intention tremors, along with loss of tone, as well as dysarthria and nystagmus.
- Symmetric proximal muscle weakness has been seen. Distal muscle weakness can also be present, which suggests generalized neuropathy.
- Gait dysfunction may also suggest muscle weakness rather than ataxia.
- Rigidity with slowed movements
- Slowed or delayed postural corrections
- Dystonia or limitations of vertical gaze