Ataxia

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Movement disorder of coordination. Classically ataxia is thought of as caused by disease of the cerebellum or cerebellar pathways. As with most neurology matters can be slightly more complex than this.

A wide variety of specific ataxias exist, with a wide variety of patholophysiological causation. Ataxia is also a more general symptom of poisonings and other disease processes. See Category:Ataxias.

Common situations are the presentation of an acute ataxia in someone previously moving normally, and the investigation of an ataxia which has developed chronically.

The history and neurological and locomotor examinations are clearly important and may help prioritise investigations. Always be aware of toxins such as alcohol as a cause and the easily treatable acute presentations such as severe hypoglycaemia.

Contents

History

Examination

Investigation of ataxia

  • Non specific screening tests of which the most important in the acute setting is glucose
  • Vitamin B12 and folate
  • Thyroid function tests
  • CXR
  • MRI brain

Consider:

References

This article is a work in progress. Please feel free to contribute to it.