What Causes Ataxia?

Discussion Coordination and balance problems are caused by various problems affecting the central and peripheral nervous system. Normal development of a child or weakness of a child are commonly mistaken for true ataxia. Ataxia specifically refers to “…impairment of the coordination of movement without loss of muscle strength.” If it is purely due to abnormalities of the cerebellum then there should be no changes in mental status, sensation or weakness. Sometimes it is difficult to determine if there are abnormalities in other areas. For example, Guillian-Barre often presents with difficulty or clumsy walking. Sometimes can be difficult with an uncooperative or scared young child to determine if there are sensation changes or weakness particularly early in the disease process. Therefore the child may be misclassified as having ataxia. Acute cerebellar ataxia was first described in 1868 by Shepherd. It has an acute onset that is usually followed by a complete recovery and good long-term prognosis. It is thought to be caused by an transient para- or post-infectious process but has not been specifically identified. Organisms that have been associated with acute cerebellar ataxia include: Bacterial Bordetella pertussis Streptococcus, group A beta-hemolytic Legionella Mycoplasma Viral Epstein-Barr virus Influenza Hepatitis A and B Herpes simplex Measles Mumps Parvovirus B19 Polio Varicella Patients present with acute ataxia with gross and fine motor p...
Source: PediatricEducation.org - Category: Pediatrics Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Source Type: news

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