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Understanding Acute Cerebellar Ataxia

By HERWriter
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Acute Cerebellar Ataxia. Upon first hearing, the name of this disorder is daunting. Let's begin to understand this condition by first deciphering the name.

"Acute" indicates that this disorder has a sudden onset. The afflicted person had no signs of any dsyfunction in their coordination, and then, the symptoms appear. This dysfunction can happen to anyone at any age but is most often found in children of age three and under.

Acute Cerebellar Ataxia (also known as Cerebellitis) can be triggered by a virus, appearing some weeks after a viral illness. Some of the viruses that can cause Cerebellitis are chicken pox, Coxsackie Disease, Epstein-Barr, HIV, Lyme disease and mycoplasma pneumonia.

Some older insecticides (organophosphates) and some other toxins, e.g., lead, mercury and thallium, are also possible causes. In other cases, Acute Cerebellar Ataxia can be initiated by cerebellar hemorrhage, abscesses, blood clots or an obstructed artery.

"Cerebellar" points to the cerebellum, which is a part of the brain. It is behind, and above, the brainstem. The cerebellum plays a large role in the body's coordination. Cerebellar dysfunction can make a person clumsy, slow and wobbly in their movements. They may appear intoxicated.

"Ataxia" describes a disruption in muscle coordination, especially in the arms, legs and trunk. It may be seen in an unsteady gait while attempting to walk. Body movements and eye movements may be sudden, jerky and uncoordinated.

Speech may be slurred or stumbling and slow. Nausea and vomiting will sometimes accompany this condition. Other symptoms might be headache and dizziness. Personality and behavioral changes may also occur.

When seated, the affected person is unable to control his body's movements. They may move from side to side, forward, backward. When they reach out for something, their hand may sway, their aim is not accurate. They can't get their body to cooperate, to do what they want it to do.

Your doctor will want to do some tests. MRI scans, CT scans, blood tests, ultrasounds, urine analysis, are some of the tests that will aid in diagnosis of this disorder.

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

This article is very informative, some of which I didn’t know about, and I have had ataxia for 16 years. Mine was diagnoised with idiopathic ataxia. This is the most informative article I have ever seen. Thanks for writing it. For more Ataxia

May 15, 2011 - 11:47am
EmpowHER Guest

Great site, Empower!

January 18, 2010 - 7:24pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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