Symptoms of Ataxia

Ataxia can affect people in many different ways. Depending on the underlying disease, patients might manifest some symptoms but not others. The age of onset, as well as the severity of the symptoms, varies between individuals.

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 are characterized by 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, cardiac and orthopaedic 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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