Patient Comments: Ataxia - Symptoms & Signs


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Comment from: biznet, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: July 10

I am 79 years old and in very good physical condition. I first developed ataxia about the age of 11 or 12. I lived with it for many years. Somehow I made it through my working years without losing a job. I married at 27 and am happily married. After bouts with many neurologists I did find one who was able to diagnose my problem as episodic ataxia. I was placed on acetazolamide. It was not perfect, but relieved symptoms significantly. I read an article stating that ataxia episodes might stop in older age. Well, sometime in 2011 or 2012 the episodes disappeared and I have been free of them the last 5 or 6 years.

Comment from: edsoper, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: September 09

Back surgery and subsequent therapy and treatments brought on nerve damage and eventullly peripheral neuropathy (feet and legs). In an attempt to reduce the pain and other symptoms my neurologst prescribed gabapentin (used to treat seizures). The neuropathy symptoms were diminished, but I have gradually lost my ability to walk. I use a walker in the home and a cane outside. Now that I know my medication can cause the ataxia, I will reduce dosage or stop taking it; I can handle the pain but not ataxia.

Comment from: Kilraven, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 31

At the age of 19 I started experiencing lack of muscle control when performing strenuous exercise. It was very periodic. As I got older, the episodes became more frequent, and I started to experience slurred speech, excessive sweating, and trouble swallowing. I also started to have the episodes when I wasn't so active. My family doctor wasn't able to diagnose my problem, but I was sent to a specialist and they diagnosed it as ataxia, but did not determine any underlying cause to my condition. I am now 49 and on medication that lessens the severity and frequency of my episodes.

Comment from: Lucy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

I have ataxia. I have started to collapse on the floor for 15 minutes. Then I am ok for months even. I feel it coming for 1 minute or so, then bam, I collapse. I am now trying gabapentin, but only on it for a week now. It is supposed to help seizures. I will be starting on a higher dose this week. I tried Xanax but no relief. I am bipolar also. So I tend to go manic but rarely since 1986 diagnosis and medication. I’m 67 years old and it might be alcohol related. They think it is stress that I’ve had. Moved 3 times in 2 years and all our furniture was destroyed by the moving company. Had to buy new everything. I don’t drink or do drugs. I was up to 5 miles power walking. Too afraid to walk alone now. Exercise is totally awesome I think it has made stronger legs, and lifting weights has been good for upper body. I do it now at home exercise from my physical therapist. I am scared to death but mind over matter. Good luck to all.


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