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Acute Cerebellar Ataxia
|Cerebellum (Darker Pink Section)|
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- Viral infections, such as chickenpox, Coxsackie virus, Epstein-Barr, or HIV
- Bacterial infections such as Lyme disease
- Exposure to certain toxins, such as lead, mercury, thallium, alcohol, and organophosphates found in insecticides
- Cerebellar hemorrhage, abscess, blood clot, or obstruction of an artery
- Paraneoplastic syndromes—occurs when the immune system attacks the cerebellum in the area of a cancer
- Certain vaccinations
- Uncoordinated movements of the limbs or trunk
- Clumsiness with daily activities
- Difficulty walking
- Speech disturbances with slurred speech and changes in tone, pitch, and volume
- Visual complaints
- Abnormal eye movements
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes in mental state, such as personality or behavioral changes
- Chaotic eye movements
- Difficulty swallowing
- Lumbar puncture—to for abnormalities of the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds brain and spinal cord tissue
- Blood tests
- Urine tests
- Nerve conduction study—to test the speed and strength of the nerve's electrical activity
- Electromyography (EMG)—to test electrical activity of a muscle for weakness
- IV immune globulin
- Plasma exchange therapy
- Medications to improve muscle coordination
National Ataxia Foundation http://www.ataxia.org
National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke http://www.ninds.nih.gov
Canadian Institutes of Health Research http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
Cerebellar ataxia. BBC News website. Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/medical%5Fnotes/4055425.stm. Updated November 30, 2004. Accessed February 7, 2014.
Cerebellar ataxia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated January 21, 2014. Accessed February 7, 2014.
Cerebellar signs including cerebellar ataxia. Patient UK website. Available at: http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Cerebellar-Ataxia.htm. Updated October 15, 2009. Accessed February 7, 2014.
Encephalopathy. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/encephalopathy/encephalopathy.htm. Updated November 9, 2010. Accessed February 7, 2014.
Frequently asked questions. University of Chicago Ataxia Center website. Available at: http://ataxia.uchicago.edu/page/faq. Accessed February 7, 2014.
Ishikawa N, Kobayashi M. Recurrent acute cerebellar ataxia associated with anti-cardiolipin antibodies. Brain Dev. 2010;32(7):588-591.
Mehta SH, Morgan JC, Sethi KD. Paraneoplastic movement disorders. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2009;9(4):285-291.
Stumpf DA. Acute ataxia. Pediatr Rev. 1987;8;303-306.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014
- Update Date: 00/20/2014