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What causes ataxia?

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Posted on Fri, 21 Aug 2015
Question: My Dr said I have Ataxia, should I be concerned??
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Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Well, as everything in life goes to be "worried" or not depends on....

Detailed Answer:
....1. Is the diagnosis of whatever a person's been told they have accurate
....2. If the diagnosis is accurate WHAT IS THE CAUSE?

If the cause of a particular diagnosis is something that can be easily corrected or addressed then, probably there wouldn't be much cause for concern. If the cause is not correctable or unknown then, there STILL IS NOT MUCH FOR WORRY but rather it becomes most important to discover how to cope or address things that can be attacked readily and then, the search is on for an answer.

So, you see....in my way of thinking there should never be a time where one should have to flat out "worry" because in my opinion that is an activity that doesn't lend itself to producing solutions to problems. Make sense?

So let's first define ATAXIA. It is the lack of control of movements which are VOLUNTARY in nature. Another way to look at it is an incoordination or clumsy way of moving the limbs which is either robotic or purposeless. Furthermore, ATAXIA is always a reflection of some primary problem IN THE BRAIN (most commonly the cerebellum) or THE SPINAL CORD. It is not as a result of muscle weakness, muscle disease, infections in the muscle or body (outside brain and spinal cord), etc. While ATAXIA mainly is thought of as affecting the limbs it can also affect the trunk and cervical or neck muscles which then, can affect how the head moves about.

There are numerous causes for ATAXIA so you need to say what your doctor thinks is the most likely reason for your condition. If they don't know then, there are tests that can be run in the bloodstream, imaging studies which can be obtained of the head and spinal column, or if necessary consultations that can be made of people such as myself (NEUROLOGISTS) whose job it is to define such problems according to known entities that can be deduced using history and examination techniques.

So now the ball is in your court. You need to get information from your doctor on why the diagnosis of ATAXIA was given to you in the first place and what his or her best guess is as to a cause. Is it something that is treatable, was it inherited through the genes, or did this condition just spontaneously develop without warning or cause?

I hope these answers satisfactorily addresses your question. If so, may I ask your favor of a HIGH STAR RATING with some written feedback?

Also, if there are no other questions or comments, may I ask you CLOSE THE QUERY on your end so this question can be transacted and archived for further reference by colleagues as necessary?

Please direct more comments or inquiries to me in the future at:

bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi

I would be honored to answer you quickly and comprehensively.

Please keep me informed as to the outcome of your situation.

The query has required a total of 16 minutes of physician specific time to read, research, and compile a return envoy to the patient.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Dariush Saghafi

Neurologist

Practicing since :1988

Answered : 2473 Questions

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What causes ataxia?

Brief Answer: Well, as everything in life goes to be "worried" or not depends on.... Detailed Answer: ....1. Is the diagnosis of whatever a person's been told they have accurate ....2. If the diagnosis is accurate WHAT IS THE CAUSE? If the cause of a particular diagnosis is something that can be easily corrected or addressed then, probably there wouldn't be much cause for concern. If the cause is not correctable or unknown then, there STILL IS NOT MUCH FOR WORRY but rather it becomes most important to discover how to cope or address things that can be attacked readily and then, the search is on for an answer. So, you see....in my way of thinking there should never be a time where one should have to flat out "worry" because in my opinion that is an activity that doesn't lend itself to producing solutions to problems. Make sense? So let's first define ATAXIA. It is the lack of control of movements which are VOLUNTARY in nature. Another way to look at it is an incoordination or clumsy way of moving the limbs which is either robotic or purposeless. Furthermore, ATAXIA is always a reflection of some primary problem IN THE BRAIN (most commonly the cerebellum) or THE SPINAL CORD. It is not as a result of muscle weakness, muscle disease, infections in the muscle or body (outside brain and spinal cord), etc. While ATAXIA mainly is thought of as affecting the limbs it can also affect the trunk and cervical or neck muscles which then, can affect how the head moves about. There are numerous causes for ATAXIA so you need to say what your doctor thinks is the most likely reason for your condition. If they don't know then, there are tests that can be run in the bloodstream, imaging studies which can be obtained of the head and spinal column, or if necessary consultations that can be made of people such as myself (NEUROLOGISTS) whose job it is to define such problems according to known entities that can be deduced using history and examination techniques. So now the ball is in your court. You need to get information from your doctor on why the diagnosis of ATAXIA was given to you in the first place and what his or her best guess is as to a cause. Is it something that is treatable, was it inherited through the genes, or did this condition just spontaneously develop without warning or cause? I hope these answers satisfactorily addresses your question. If so, may I ask your favor of a HIGH STAR RATING with some written feedback? Also, if there are no other questions or comments, may I ask you CLOSE THE QUERY on your end so this question can be transacted and archived for further reference by colleagues as necessary? Please direct more comments or inquiries to me in the future at: bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi I would be honored to answer you quickly and comprehensively. Please keep me informed as to the outcome of your situation. The query has required a total of 16 minutes of physician specific time to read, research, and compile a return envoy to the patient.