Symptoms of Ataxia

Ataxia can affect people in many different ways. Depending on the cause, you may have some symptoms but not others. The age that ataxia starts, as well as the severity, is different for everyone.

Common symptoms include:

  • Unsteady walking
  • Poor balance and tendency to fall
  • Wide-based gait with feet spread far apart
  • Poor coordination of hands feet and legs (clumsiness)
  • Difficulty with fine motor tasks, such as writing and fastening buttons
  • Slurred speech

Some forms of ataxia have other symptoms including:

  • Loss of feeling
  • Numbness or tingling in the feet or legs (neuropathy)
  • Muscle cramps, tremor when reaching for or holding objects
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Visual problems such as blurred vision and eye movement abnormalities
  • Seizures
  • Heart and orthopaedic (muscles, bones and joints) complications

Related Resources



Quick Links

  • Ataxia: Find out more about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of ataxia
  • Friedreich's Ataxia: Read about the symptoms and treatment for this inherited degenerative disorder

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