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What are the symptoms of ataxia?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of ataxia include difficulty walking, poor coordination, difficulty swallowing, change in speech, involuntary eye movements, and difficulty with fine motor skills, according to Mayo Clinic. Difficulty with balance and muscle coordination are signs requiring a visit to a doctor.

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Full Answer

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, additional symptoms of ataxia include increased fatigue with normal activity, as well as cognitive and emotional difficulties. Patients with cerebellar ataxia who have difficulty completing regular tasks may experience fatigue due to the need to exert more energy for movements that are no longer easy to complete. Additionally, mood changes such as increased anxiety, irritability and depression are common among patients with cerebellar degeneration.

The age at which a person experiences symptoms and the severity of symptoms vary depending on the type of ataxia, states Mayo Clinic. Hereditary ataxias may take several years to progress. Sporadic ataxias often begin in adulthood without a relation to family history.

According to Healthline, additional symptoms include headaches and an unsteady gait when standing and walking. It is recommended that patients see a doctor if they experience any of these symptoms without knowledge of a condition that would cause ataxia. Furthermore, symptoms of ataxia are associated with conditions of the nervous system that might be signs of a different condition.

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