Cerebellar ataxia is a medical condition that signals an underlying medical problem, according to MedicineNet. The cerebellum, a section of the brain, coordinates body movements. When it suffers temporary or permanent damage, the result is cerebellar ataxia, the absence of coordinated muscle movement when a person tries to move voluntarily.
Cerebellar ataxia impacts any body movement that requires muscular coordination, such as running or swallowing, explains MedicineNet. Signs of ataxia include stumbling or walking unsteadily, talking with a slur, and struggling with simple manual tasks. Many substances can cause temporary or permanent cerebellar ataxia, including alcohol, chemical or mercury poisoning, marijuana and other recreational drugs, and prescription medications, such as lithium. A tumor, stroke or vitamin B-12 deficiency can also lead to cerebellar ataxia.