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Ataxia (cont.)

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What is the treatment for ataxia?

The treatment of ataxia depends upon the underlying cause. Should the ataxia be found to be irreversible, physical and occupational therapy are the cornerstones of care, focusing on safety, mobility, maximizing function, and improving quality of life.

What is the prognosis for ataxia?

Ataxia is the sign of an underlying disease or illness and the prognosis depends upon the response to treatment of that underlying cause. For example, some causes of ataxia may be reversible (electrolyte imbalance, exposure to certain chemicals) so the prognosis is good while others (genetic, irreversible alcohol damage) may have a fair to poor prognosis.

Can ataxia be prevented?

Since ataxia is the sign of an underlying disease, it may not necessarily be preventable. However, avoiding external causes of ataxia (environmental chemicals and toxins) may prevent some individuals from developing ataxia. Currently, genetic causes are not preventable.

Medically reviewed by Joseph Carcione, DO; American board of Psychiatry and Neurology


Longo, Dan, et al. Harrisons's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. McGraw-Hill, 2011.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/13/2016


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