Acroataxia refers to the ataxia affecting the distal portion of the limbs, such as hands, fingers, feet, and toes. That is in contrast to the ataxia involving the proximal portion of the extremities such as the arms, forearms, thighs, and legs. Ataxia, in particular, is the lack of muscular coordination or irregularity of muscular action of voluntary movements. It often involves damage to the cerebellum, which is part of the brain responsible for regulating muscle coordination. The damage may be due to certain medications (e.g. barbiturates), alcohol abuse, cerebral palsy, tumor, brain degeneration, head trauma, or complications of certain infections (e.g. chickenpox). It may also be genetic. For instance, Friedreich’s ataxia is an autosomal recessive disorder wherein the condition progresses from gait ataxia to acroataxia. The affected body parts, e.g. hands and lower extremities, may waste away over time. Since the underlying cause varies, the treatment also varies depending on what led to it.
- Ataxia – Symptoms and causes. (2018). Retrieved from Mayo Clinic website: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ataxia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355652
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