Ataxia is a medical implication that relates to uncoordinated and unbalanced body movements. Cerebellar Ataxia refers to unbalanced body movements due to the improper functioning of the cerebellum, an important part of the brain that is responsible for coordinating the movements of the various parts of the body.
Head injury, which might be result of a trauma or accident, viral infection like chicken pox, cerebral palsy and genetic disorder, abnormalities in the formation of the cerebellum and inheritance are some of the root causes which may lead to cerebella ataxia.
Rapid and involuntary movement of the eyes is also referred to as Nystagmus. In this case the eyes start to make uncoordinated movements in any direction like horizontally, vertically or even in circles. This in extreme cases leads to loss of visibility as the victim suffering from this symptom fails to maintain a steady focus on a particular object.
Cerebellar Ataxia is one of the main causes of nystagmus as it is believed to be linked to the malfunctioning of a particular part of the brain that is responsible for controlling eye movements. The symptoms might be congenital, inherent or caused as a result of trauma.The other symptoms which remain associated with the uncontrolled eye movements may lead patients to fail in ascertaining depth perception which again leads to coordination problems.
Cerebellar Ataxia is very often accompanied by speech disparity and the difficulty in swallowing. The disorder is commonly referred to as Ataxia Oculomotor Apraxia, type 1 and is actually a nerve disorder that affects the motor nerves and results in speech difficulty. The common symptoms which are common with acute cerebellar ataxia problems are garbled speech, change in the pitch and volume from being normal at one time and changing its pitch the very next moment.
When it comes to ascertaining the performance factors of the motor skills in totality, it becomes very hard to differentiate between an irregularity in speech and usual developmental symptoms as found in small children who fail to respond and might not speak very clearly at the beginning. In such cases it is advisable that you try to evaluate if the child’s speech pattern has changed from its normal course or if he is suddenly starting to behave differently from his normal ways.
As the problem is related to the part of the brain that coordinates the hand and leg movements, Cerebellar Ataxia will cause involuntary movements. Often patients are unable to control the way they move. Cerebral palsy, paralyses are some of the many symptoms which also account for Cerebellar Ataxia.
Patients suffering from this nerve disorder have been seen complaining about their failure in controlling the direction of the movement of their body parts. People can be seen swaying as if they are intoxicated. Victims who wish to move to the right find it impossible to take itself to the right but instead start reacting with sudden unbalanced movements.
It can be a big problem when trying to identify cerebellar ataxia symptoms in children below three with respect to their movement. Toddlers and young infants have normal coordination problems which should not be confused with the symptoms of this nerve disorder. As parents you can keep a check on his normal movements and be alert to notice any kind of abnormal movement that he or she starts to make involuntarily.
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In young children sitting still for a short period of time can get very hard if they are suffering from this nerve disorder. The child will continue to move the rest of the body below the trunk and will do so involuntarily. Swaying of the arms, when trying to fetch something, is another kind of muscle-coordination problem and is of common occurrence with patients suffering from acute cerebellar ataxia.
Clumsiness is another symptom common with this problem. The person suffering from this disorder will be showing a little lethargy in movements and will seem to be falling frequently or making things fall because of them very frequently.
As we have discussed in the earlier paragraphs, the symptoms of Cerebellar Ataxia is easy to get confused with the developmental symptoms that children show. While in grownups identifying the symptoms can be easy but to do the same in children becomes very difficult. In such cases, clinical tests can accurately identify the conditions of heightened cerebellar ataxia. A CT scan, MRI or ultrasound of the brain will help doctors to identify any aberrations that might be responsible for how the brain transmits messages to respective muscles.
A cerebrospinal fluid test that accounts for the total protein percentage in the cerebrospinal fluid will alert doctors for any kind of abnormalities. There are specific urine tests which too can help in the diagnosis of the nerve disorder.A thorough study of the medical history of a patient will help the doctor to avail details regarding the frequency at which the patient suffered from various viral diseases. Viruses such as chicken pox, Epstein-Barr, Coxsackie and HIV have been established as common triggers for ataxia.
Since the nerve disorder has also been ascertained to be a hereditary problem therefore a doctor gets alarmed and checks for symptoms in case a family member has a history of the disease.Too much exposure to metals like lead and mercury will also account for symptoms which relate to unbalanced movement and coordination problems. Multiple sclerosis, a recent stroke, alcoholism and severe migraine headaches are some of the other trigger factors in adults for Cecrebellar ataxia.
While the above symptoms will answer your quest regarding how to spot symptoms of acute Cerebellar Ataxia, there are certain other severe symptoms in advance cases of the disorder which need to be identified before it gets fatal.Acute Cerebellar Ataxia is known to cause respiratory disorder as it stops the movement of the lungs. Blood circulation which is made possible by the pumping of the heart can get hampered too. It is therefore essential that the symptoms get recognized and treated accordingly at an early stage.
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