Hands on a walkerCerebellar ataxia is generally caused by damage to the cerebellum.

The cerebellum is the part of the brain responsible for muscle coordination. If this part of the brain is damaged, it may result in numerous side effects including loss of coordination

What are the Symptoms of Cerebellar Ataxia?

Ataxia means lacking coordination. Symptoms of ataxia may include a lack of coordination or poor coordination. This often presents as an unsteady walk, lurching or stumbling, or difficulty performing fine motor tasks such as writing, tying a pair of shoes, or buttoning a shirt. Many patients may also experience uncontrollable or repetitive eye movements, slurred speech, headaches, dizziness, or vocal changes.

Ataxia is generally a symptom of an underlying condition. Although in some cases this condition may be diagnosable, it is often unclear what is causing the ataxia. Testing including blood, muscle, or nerve tests, brain, and spinal cord imaging, and genetic testing may narrow down the possible causes.

What Causes Cerebellar Ataxia?

Cerebellar ataxia, or cerebellar atrophy, may result from several causes. The condition may be caused by genetics, drugs or alcohol, head trauma, stroke, cerebral palsy, autoimmune disorders, or infections. Cerebellar ataxia may also be caused by medications including Dilantin, a type of anti-seizure medication often used for the treatment of epilepsy. Dilantin, also known by the generic name phenytoin, has been associated with cerebellar degeneration and atrophy.

Can Cerebellar Ataxia Be Reversed?

Unfortunately, cerebellar ataxia is not reversible. Although there is currently no cure for cerebellar ataxia, some patients may be able to treat their conditions in order to reduce their symptoms. According to a report published in Movement Disorders in June 2014, some patients suffering from cerebellar ataxia may be able to treat their symptoms with high doses of vitamin E, gluten-free diets or prescription drugs.

These treatment options depend on the type of cerebellar ataxia a patient has. If the cerebellar ataxia is caused by alcohol or drugs, discontinuing the use of these substances may correct many of the symptoms. Ataxia caused by gluten may be treated by following a gluten-free diet.

If the ataxia causes a vitamin E deficiency, taking vitamin E supplements may stop the progression of the disease and improve neurological side effects. However, these treatment options are time-sensitive and may be more effective the sooner after the diagnosis they are started.

Even types of cerebellar atrophy with no specific treatment options may be managed with physical or occupational therapy and adaptive devices. Patients who experience difficulty walking may find a cane, walker, or wheelchair helpful for improving their mobility. Physical and mental exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and sleeping well may also be instrumental in managing the symptoms of ataxia.

If you have developed cerebellar ataxia due to use of Dilantin or other drugs, you may be eligible to hire a qualified attorney and file a class action lawsuit. Victims who file class action lawsuits may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

In general, phenytoin lawsuits are filed individually by each plaintiff and are not class actions.

Do YOU have a legal claim? Fill out the form on this page now for a free, immediate, and confidential case evaluation. The attorneys who work with Top Class Actions will contact you if you qualify to let you know if an individual Dilantin lawsuit or Dilantin class action lawsuit is best for you. Hurry — statutes of limitations may apply.

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This article is not legal advice. It is presented
for informational purposes only.

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