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Types, Symptoms of Episodic Ataxia


It is a neurological condition that impairs movement [1] . Although rare, people who are affected by this suffer from episodes of poor coordination and balance (ataxia). These episodes can last from several seconds to several hours. All types of EA are hereditary, however, they are attributed to different genetic causes and also vary in terms of symptoms. The most common ones are Type 1 and Type 2 [2] . Read on to get more information about the various types of EA along with its symptoms and treatment.
EA Type 1:
The symptoms of this typically appear in early childhood [3] . The child is likely to have brief bouts of ataxia. Such episodes can occur up to 30 times per day. The following factors can act as the trigger [4] : Caffeine Fatigue Emotional or physical stress
EA Type 2:
It usually appears in childhood or early adulthood. The major characteristic of this is attack episodes that last for several hours [6] . However, these episodes are less frequent when compared to EA Type 1. The following factors can act as triggers [7] : Caffeine Medication Fever Alcohol Stress Physical exertion
Symptoms Of Episodic Ataxia
The symptoms of EA occur in episodes.
The symptoms can last for several seconds, minutes or hours. In all types of EA, the primarily noticed symptoms are impaired balance and coordination. The other possible symptoms include the following [9] :
Blurred vision
Involuntary movements
Muscle cramps
Muscle twitching
Muscle spasms Migraine headaches
Muscle weakness Nausea Nystagmus (repetitive eye movements)
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Slurred speech Hemiplegia (temporary paralysis on one side)

Treatment For Episodic
Ataxia Once diagnosed, EA is ideally treated with anticonvulsant or antiseizure medication [12] . The most commonly used drug for the treatment of EA Type 1 and 2 is acetazolamide [13] . Other medications include the following: Carbamazepine Valproic acid Flunarizine Dalfampridine Additional drugs may be prescribed to treat other symptoms of EA. Some doctors recommend physical therapy alongside medication to improve mobility. Diet and lifestyle changes can help in avoiding triggers.