Ataxia: Species, Symptoms and Treatment
A pathology that manifests itself as a motor disorder is called ataxia.It arises due to the development of neoplasms or serious diseases of the brain and spinal cord.There are several types of ataxia, depending on the localization of the lesion.Installation of the latter is a prerequisite for effective treatment.Contents: General information Types Ataxia causes Ataxia symptoms Diagnosis Ataxia treatment Prognosis Prevention
The term "ataxia" has Greek roots and is literally translated as "disorder".The disease, which he describes, occurs quite often and is manifested by a violation of coordination of movements and balance. When it occurs, a person has an inconsistency in the interaction of different muscle groups.And the strength of the limbs in him either completely preserved, or decreases insignificantly.At the same time lesions entail indistinctness and clumsiness of movements not only during walking, but also in the usual standing position of .
In view of the fact that the body provides several departments of the nervous system that provide balance and coordination, if ataxia occurs, the doctor first of all conducts a survey to ensure that one of them does not malfunction.That is, in the work of the cerebellum, the cortex of the frontal lobe, the vestibular apparatus, the conductors of deep joint-muscular sensitivity, the occipital and temporal lobe of the brain.
Please note! Ataxia - this pathology, which entail the decoupling of movements.In other words, a person with such a diagnosis is broken: speech, walking, minor motor skills, swallowing, eye movements.Her motor activity may become irregular, intermittent, or even become more complicated.
In the first place, hereditary and acquired ataxia is diagnosed. There is one more classification - depending on the nature of the lesions.According to her, the pathology can be:
- static, when the balance is disturbed( it is difficult for a person to stand still);
- dynamic, when there is a violation of movement, for example, when walking;
- statodynamic, when signs of both kinds appear.
Depending on the location of the lesion, ataxia is identified:
- Sensitive.It appears when there is a violation of the musculo-articular sensitivity.The latter is possible with damage to the posterior columns of the spinal cord, peripheral nerves, thalamus, parietal cortex, the development of neurosyphilis or various vascular pathologies. The disease manifests itself by instability and unusual gait, when a person flexes excessively the legs in the knee or hip joints, it is pronounced stomping with the foot .A distinctive feature of the ailment is the intensification of the symptoms of the disease at the moment when the patient closes his eyes.
- Cerebellum.The defeat of the cerebellum can provoke both the development of a dynamic ataxia, diagnosed when there are problems in the hemispheres, and statodynamic. The latter is observed against the backdrop of pathologies of the cerebellar worm and is manifested by gait disorders, instability .Causes of diseases can serve as brain tumors, as well as vascular diseases of cerebellar structures.In addition to everything in cerebellar ataxia, a violation of handwriting and speech can develop.
- Vestibular.Such ataxia is diagnosed in case of failures in the vestibular apparatus.Along with the shakiness in this case, a person feels constant dizziness, nausea until vomiting, horizontal nystagmus.The cause of the development of the disease most often are ear diseases, especially Meniere's disease. A distinctive feature of such ataxia is a pronounced dependence on the movements of the head.With sharp turns, the symptoms intensify .
- Cork.Pathology occurs in the case of the appearance of a tumor of the frontal lobes, with abscesses, circulatory disorders in the brain, encephalitis. Its main features are discoordination of movements, gait disturbance, sometimes loss of ability to walk and stand, pronounced deflection of the body back, braiding of limbs, appearance of "fox gait", when the patient puts his feet on one line of .Despite the fact that the sight of the strength of the manifestation of symptoms is not affected, the latter are often accompanied by hearing, olfactory, memory, hallucinations.
Please note! Physicians also distinguish psychogenic and intrapsychic ataxia.In the case of their development in humans, the cleavage of the functions of the psyche is noted.To find out this kind of disease can be on fanciful movements when walking: the patient goes, without bending and not crossing legs.
Ataxia, which is of a hereditary nature, is also divided into several types, namely:
- Ataxia Pierre Marie - transmitted from the parents and characterized by the appearance of symptoms of cerebellar ataxia, cerebellar hypoplasia, atrophy of the brain bridge.In the risk group - people aged 30 - 35 years .Pathology is suspected in violations of facial expressions, speech, difficulties in walking, loss of ability to move hands quickly, involuntary contractions of the muscles of the fingers and limbs, ptosis - lower eyelid, depression, fear.
- Friedreich's Ataxia.Pathology that occurs in a blood marriage.It manifests itself mainly by gait disturbances, when a person arranges legs too widely when walking. When the disease progresses, there is a violation of hand coordination, facial expressions, when involuntary contraction of the facial muscles occurs, speech slowing, hearing deterioration, reflex reduction.If the patient does not receive timely help, he develops cardiovascular diseases, the risk of fractures and dislocations of the joints increases.Often pathology is accompanied by hormonal disorders, diabetes, sexual dysfunction.
- The Louis-Bar syndrome. Hereditary pathology, the signs of which are manifested in early childhood, when reaching the age of 9, the child loses the ability to walk.Along with this, he has mental retardation, a tendency to acute infectious diseases - otitis, bronchitis, pneumonia, hypoplasia of the thymus gland.Often against this background, a malignant tumor develops, which aggravates the course of the disease, making its prognosis unfavorable.
Causes of Ataxia
The causes of the pathology are: lesions that affect the frontal lobes of the brain, the cortex and subcortical structures, the brainstem or the cerebellum, the causes of the onset of the pathology are:
- Vascular diseases of the brain( hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes);
- craniocerebral trauma;
- hydrocephalus is a disease in which the cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the ventricular system;
- multiple strokes;
- pathology of the development of the skull and brain, for example, the anomaly of Arnold Chiari;
- serious disorders of cerebral circulation, as a result of which nutrition is not received by the trunk or vital centers;
- Multiple Sclerosis;
- disseminated encephalitis;
- of ear disease and pre-cochlear nerve;
- lack of vitamin B12;
- hypothyroidism - a pathology associated with a decrease in thyroid function;
- labyrinthite - inflammation of the inner ear;
- vestibular neuronitis is a disease characterized by inflammation of the vestibular nerves;
- neurinoma of the vestibular nerve - swelling of its membranes;
- poisoning with potent drugs or hypnotics;
- chronic alcoholism;
Please note! Acute forms of ataxia occur, as a rule, against systemic lupus erythematosus, epilepsy, sickle-cell anemia.
Symptoms of ataxia
It should be noted that each of the forms of the disease manifests itself in different ways.Meanwhile, for most pathologies, the following symptoms are characteristic:
- impaired coordination of movement of arms, legs and body;
- inability to maintain balance in standing or walking position;
- constant fear of falling;
- involuntary muscle twitching;
- speech deceleration;
- nausea, vomiting;
- handwriting change;
- mental disorders;
- vision impairment;
- hallucinations, in particular auditory;
- memory degradation.
Diagnosis of ataxia is, first of all, in the identification of its form.For this purpose, the specialist collects an anamnesis, conducts a general examination, sends the patient to laboratory-instrumental studies.
When collecting an anamnesis, the doctor asks about the transferred diseases and medicines used for their treatment, heredity.In general examination, he assesses muscle tone, quality of sight, hearing, reflexes, and also conducts coordination tests - palcenosic and knee-heel.
In addition, he can refer the patient to:
- general and biochemical blood and urine tests - they allow to exclude or confirm the presence of metabolic failures, and also to reveal signs of poisoning or inflammation;
- MRI of the brain - the procedure helps to diagnose atrophic processes in the upper part of the skull;
- electroencephalography - the method is designed to assess the electrical activity of individual parts of the brain;
- computed tomography of the brain and spinal cord - the results of this study help to layer-by-layer look at the structure of the brain tissues, making out possible pustules, neoplasms, hemorrhages;
- spinal puncture with mandatory analysis of cerebrospinal fluid;
- genetic tests for the detection of mutations;
- DNA diagnosis if hereditary pathologies occur.
Important! For an accurate diagnosis it is extremely important to contact an experienced specialist and pass all necessary examinations.In rare cases, the pathology may resemble multiple sclerosis with its symptoms, thereby deceiving the physicians.
Treatment of ataxia
Treatment of ataxia is predominantly symptomatic.The neurologist prescribes vitamin complexes, including those that contain B and E vitamins and preparations aimed at general strengthening of the body, increasing immunity and retaining the motor activity of .In addition, funds can be prescribed to normalize blood pressure or improve microcirculation of the brain.
Antibiotic therapy is used to detect infection.With multiple sclerosis, it is possible to use hormonal drugs and plasmapheresis.
Please note! The key to the success of ataxia is the timely identification of the cause of the pathology and its elimination.That is why tumors are removed surgically.
For the diagnosis of poisoning, support solutions are introduced.In addition to strengthening the body, the physician can recommend physical exercises aimed at increasing muscle tone.The patient's condition is also affected by walking sticks, walkers or other devices.
Early detection of the disease and adherence to all the recommendations of a specialist allows a person to remain able to work for the longest possible period of .At the same time, the lack of qualified medical care can result in the destruction of the neuropsychic system and the permanent deterioration of the patient's well-being.As a result, an unfavorable outcome for both work capacity and for life is practically guaranteed.
It is difficult to prevent the development of hereditary pathologies, however, in order to reduce the risk of ataxia, doctors recommend
- to lead a healthy lifestyle, just walking outdoors, doing sports and observing day and night;
- monitor your health, visit a doctor regularly, treat infectious diseases in time if they are detected;
- to monitor the quality of food;
- should not be postponed until you see a doctor if there are similar symptoms.
Ataxia is a pathology that can be diagnosed at any age and seriously affect a person's quality of life.Meanwhile, despite all their insidiousness, they are amenable to correction, so they need timely detection and treatment.
Chumachenko Olga, doctor, medical reviewer