Ataxia is usually caused by damage to a part of the brain known as the cerebellum, but it can also be caused by damage to the spinal cord or other nerves. The spinal cord is a long bundle of nerves that runs down the spine and connects the brain to all other parts of the body.
Cerebellar degeneration may be the result of inherited genetic mutations that alter the normal production of specific proteins that are necessary for the survival of neurons.
The clinical manifestations of the hereditary ataxias are progressive incoordination of movement and speech, and a wide-based, uncoordinated, unsteady gait. In addition, patients may develop ophthalmoplegia (limitations of eye movement), spasticity, neuropathy, and cognitive/behavioral difficulties.
There's no FDA-approved treatment specifically for Ataxia, yet. Doctor's around the nation have been researching and conducting clinical trials that help treat the symptoms of Ataxia. More will be revealed in the next few years. Time, attention, love, and empathy are commonly accepted amongst patients nationwide.
Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 3 (SCA3) is a condition characterized by progressive problems with movement. People with this condition initially experience problems with coordination and balance (Ataxia).
Other early signs and symptoms of SCA3 include speech difficulties, uncontrolled muscle tensing (dystonia), muscle stiffness (spasticity), rigidity, tremors, bulging eyes, and double vision.
Over time, individuals with SCA3 may develop loss of sensation and weakness in the limbs (peripheral neuropathy), muscle cramps, muscle twitches (fasciculations), and swallowing difficulties.
Individuals with SCA3 may have problems with memory, planning, and problem-solving.
Signs and symptoms of the disorder typically begin in mid-adulthood but can appear anytime from childhood to late adulthood. People with SCA3 eventually require wheelchair assistance. They usually survive 10 to 20 years after symptoms first appear.