Learn About Acute Cerebellar Ataxia

What is the definition of Acute Cerebellar Ataxia?

Acute cerebellar ataxia is sudden, uncoordinated muscle movement due to disease or injury to the cerebellum. This is the area in the brain that controls muscle movement. Ataxia means loss of muscle coordination, especially of the hands and legs.

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What are the alternative names for Acute Cerebellar Ataxia?

Cerebellar ataxia; Ataxia - acute cerebellar; Cerebellitis; Post-varicella acute cerebellar ataxia; PVACA

What are the causes of Acute Cerebellar Ataxia?

Acute cerebellar ataxia in children, particularly younger than age 3, may occur several days or weeks after an illness caused by a virus.

Viral infections that may cause this include chickenpox, Coxsackie disease, Epstein-Barr, echovirus, among others.

Other causes of acute cerebellar ataxia include:

  • Abscess of the cerebellum
  • Alcohol, medicines, and insecticides, and illicit drugs
  • Bleeding into the cerebellum
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Strokes of the cerebellum
  • Vaccination
  • Trauma to head and neck
  • Certain diseases associated with some cancers (paraneoplastic disorders)
What are the symptoms of Acute Cerebellar Ataxia?

Ataxia may affect movement of the middle part of the body from the neck to the hip area (the trunk) or the arms and legs (limbs).

When the person is sitting, the body may move side-to-side, back-to-front, or both. Then the body quickly moves back to an upright position.

When a person with ataxia of the arms reaches for an object, the hand may sway back and forth.

Common symptoms of ataxia include:

  • Clumsy speech pattern (dysarthria)
  • Repetitive eye movements (nystagmus)
  • Uncoordinated eye movements
  • Walking problems (unsteady gait) that can lead to falls
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What are the current treatments for Acute Cerebellar Ataxia?

Treatment depends on the cause:

  • If the acute cerebellar ataxia is due to bleeding, surgery may be needed.
  • For an ischemic stroke, medicine to thin the blood can be given.
  • Infections may need to be treated with antibiotics or antivirals.
  • Corticosteroids may be needed for swelling (inflammation) of the cerebellum (such as from multiple sclerosis).
  • Cerebellar ataxia caused by a recent viral infection may not need treatment.
Who are the top Acute Cerebellar Ataxia Local Doctors?
Elite
Highly rated in
46
conditions
Neurology

UCLA Health System

Westwood - Neurological Services

300 Ucla Medical Plz 
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Susan Perlman is a Neurologist in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Perlman has been practicing medicine for over 47 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Acute Cerebellar Ataxia. She is also highly rated in 46 other conditions, according to our data. Her top areas of expertise are Acute Cerebellar Ataxia, Spinocerebellar Ataxia, Hereditary Ataxia, and Friedreich Ataxia. She is licensed to treat patients in California. Dr. Perlman is currently accepting new patients.

Elite
Highly rated in
30
conditions
Neurology

UCLA Health System

Westwood Neurology

300 Ucla Medical Plz 
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Brent Fogel is a Neurologist in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Fogel has been practicing medicine for over 19 years and is rated as an Elite doctor by MediFind in the treatment of Acute Cerebellar Ataxia. He is also highly rated in 30 other conditions, according to our data. His top areas of expertise are Acute Cerebellar Ataxia, Drug Induced Dyskinesia, Spinocerebellar Ataxia, and Olivopontocerebellar Atrophy. He is licensed to treat patients in California. Dr. Fogel is currently accepting new patients.

 
 
 
 
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Elite
Highly rated in
45
conditions

Universidade Federal De São Paulo

Ataxia Unit 
Sao Paulo, SP, BR 

Orlando Barsottini is in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Barsottini is rated as an Elite expert by MediFind in the treatment of Acute Cerebellar Ataxia. They are also highly rated in 45 other conditions, according to our data. Their top areas of expertise are Acute Cerebellar Ataxia, Drug Induced Dyskinesia, Olivopontocerebellar Atrophy, and Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 1.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Acute Cerebellar Ataxia?

People whose condition was caused by a recent viral infection should make a full recovery without treatment in a few months. Strokes, bleeding, or infections may cause permanent symptoms.

What are the possible complications of Acute Cerebellar Ataxia?

In rare cases, movement or behavioral disorders may persist.

When should I contact a medical professional for Acute Cerebellar Ataxia?

Call your provider if any symptoms of ataxia appear.

What are the latest Acute Cerebellar Ataxia Clinical Trials?
Phenotypes, Biomarkers and Pathophysiology in Spastic Ataxias
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Evaluation of the Diagnostic Value of Video-oculography in CANVAS (Cerebellar Ataxia With Neuropathy and Vestibular Areflexia Syndrome) Neuronopathies
What are the Latest Advances for Acute Cerebellar Ataxia?
Wernekinck Commissure Syndrome with Holmes Tremor: A Report of Two Cases and Review of Literature.
Tai Chi for Dynamic Balance Training Among Individuals with Cerebellar Ataxia: An Assessor-Blinded Randomized-Controlled Trial.
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Safety and efficacy of riluzole in spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 in France (ATRIL): a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date : January 28, 2021
Published By : Evelyn O. Berman, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Kuo SH, Lin CC, Ashizawa T. Cerebellar ataxia. In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 23.

Mink JW. Movement disorders. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 615.