Drugs Information Online
Drugs and diseases reference index

Drugs and diseases reference index
Search
EN

Diseases reference index «Acute cerebellar ataxia»

Acute cerebellar ataxiaAcute cerebellar ataxia

Acute cerebellar ataxia is sudden onset of uncoordinated muscle movement.

Causes

Acute cerebellar ataxia is most common in children, especially those younger than age 3. It often occurs several weeks after a viral illness.

Viral infections that may cause this include chickenpox, Coxsackie disease, Epstein-Barr, and mycoplasma pneumonia.

Exposure to older insecticides called organophosphates or other toxins may also cause ataxia.

Symptoms

Ataxia may affect movement of the middle part of the body from the neck to the hip area (the trunk) or the arms and legs (limbs).

When the person is sitting, the body may move side-to-side, back-to-front, or both, and quickly move back to an upright position.

When a person with ataxia of the arms reaches for an object, their hand may sway back and forth.

Common symptoms of ataxia are listed below.

  • Sudden, uncoordinated movement
  • Walking problems (unsteady gait)
  • Sudden (nystagmus) or uncoordinated eye movements
  • Clumsy speech pattern (dysarthria)

Exams and Tests

The doctor will ask you if you have been recently sick, and try to rule out any other causes for the problem. . A full neurological examination will be done to identify the areas of the nervous system most affected.

The following tests may be done:

  • Spinal tap
  • CT or MRI scan of the head

Treatment

Ataxia may go away without treatment after a few weeks to months. However, physical therapy may be helpful in improving coordination.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Full recovery usually occurs without treatment within a few months.

Possible Complications

Movement or behavioral disorders may (rarely) persist.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if any symptoms of ataxia appear.

Alternative Names

Cerebellar ataxia; Ataxia - acute cerebellar; Cerebellitis