Imbalance, ataxia is a disorder of motor functions that leads to a coordinated impairment of motor skills. It is manifested by a change in walking or handwriting, inability to control one’s own movements, disproportionality. A person cannot move normally, maintain a body for a long time in a certain position, or perform complex movements in space. The development of such a pathology may be the result of damage to the motor system, vestibular and cerebellar lesions.
Depending on the localization of the violation, the following types of ataxia are distinguished:
Vestibular – occurs due to damage to the vestibular apparatus;
Cortical – manifested in dysfunctions of the frontal lobe cortex in the anterior regions;
Cerebellar ataxia (dynamic or static-locomotor) – provoked by cerebellar dysfunction;
Sensitive – due to the loss of proprioception (sensation of the body) as a result of dysfunction of the dorsal horns of the spinal cord.
Hereditary imbalances are also divided into types:
Louis Bar syndrome;
Cerebellar ataxia, symptoms and treatment can only be determined by a qualified specialist.
Causes of Imbalance
It revealed a variety of reasons, because of which there is an imbalance and deteriorating coordination of movements. Among them:
- general metabolic disturbances;
- Parkinson’s disease;
- inflammatory or post-infectious problems;
- ataxia due to stroke (cerebrovascular accident);
- tumors and injuries of the central nervous system (brain or spinal cord);
- multiple sclerosis;
- neoplastic – primary tumor, metastases, paraneoplastic syndrome;
- myasthenia gravis – impaired transmission of nerve impulses to the skeleton muscles;
- traumatic brain injuries and intracerebral hematomas;
- vitamin deficiency or metabolic disorders;
- structural, neurodegenerative, endocrine diseases;
- acute intoxication or overdose of anticonvulsants;
- Guillain’s syndrome;
- dyscirculatory disorders in the central nervous system with atherosclerosis of cerebral vessels and hypertension.
Often, vestibular ataxia occurs with damage to the central nervous system due to severe infectious diseases, as well as after removal of a cerebellar tumor (the symptoms will be identical to the others).
In addition, the disease can be hereditary.
Common causes are toxic poisoning – alcohol, drugs. These violations can be attributed to chemical brain injury.
Almost always, cerebellar ataxia in children, as in adults, is accompanied by systemic dizziness. In medical practice, they are recognized as the main symptom of the disease. Due to imbalance and dizziness, about 3-4% of patients turn to doctors. About 10% of people visit neurologists and ENT specialists with suspected sensory cerebellar ataxia.
Patients have unsteady sweeping, asynergic movements, falls toward the lesion, decrease in deep reflexes (including grasping), speech disturbances, a shaky and unstable gait. Sometimes – muscle hypotension, chanted speech, intentional and low-frequency postural tremor.
- visual disturbances – impaired fixation of the gaze, narrowing of the field of view, diplopia (double vision);
- vomiting, nausea;
- paralysis – partial or complete loss of sensitivity and limbs mobility;
- noise in ears;
- violation of smell;
- mental disorders;
- decreased muscle tone;
- dysmetria, hypometry, or hypermetry;
- ataxia – violation of coordination with normal muscle tone.
Vestibular disorders and imbalance are especially dangerous for the elderly, because of the falls and injuries.
Therefore, it is important to calculate cerebellar ataxia in time with multiple sclerosis.
It is necessary to conduct a full examination, in order to timely identify the problem and prescribe the treatment of cerebellar ataxia:
- biochemical studies and clinical blood tests;
- magnetic resonance or computer tomography of brain and spinal cord;
- X-ray of skull bones;
Doctors of various fields participate in the diagnosis – neurologists, endocrinologists, traumatologists, genetics, neurosurgeons, oncologists.
Specialists prescribe the treatment of imbalance based on the analysis. The most commonly used drug therapy: drugs are aimed at improving brain blood circulation and stimulation metabolic processes in the brain tissues.
Medical tactics sometimes include antiplatelet agents, thrombolytics, angioprotectors, anticoagulants, diuretics, antibacterial, antiviral and vasodilators, adenosine triphosphate, B vitamins. Additionally, a special set of exercises for ataxia is prescribed. And in the presence of neoplasms in the cerebellum, surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy are required.
Professionals also use non-standard methods of therapy and rehabilitation of balance. Among them:
- physiotherapy exercises and health gymnastics;
- water exercises, swimming;
- yoga (with a slight imbalance);
- breathing exercises.
In the phase of recovery and rehabilitation, massage and electrical stimulation of muscles are performed. Each stage of treatment is controlled by various specialists, including a physiotherapist, a massagist, a neurologist, and a rehabilitologist.
A completely new approach in the treatment of vestibular ataxia is the method of translingual stimulation using the Neuroport simulator. The device helps to restore lost connections and normalize the patency of impulses from the brain to the limbs, thereby accelerating the overall healing process. The effectiveness of the treatment of cerebellar ataxia using this device has been proven by patients from Russia, Ukraine, Israel, Kazakhstan and other countries.
The main thing for a person who wants to prevent the development of vestibular ataxia is to follow simple recommendations: lead a healthy lifestyle, harmonize the mode of work and rest, control blood pressure, conduct timely examinations of the body (in particular, MRI of the brain) and treat infectious diseases, provide yourself with a complete diet and regular physical activity. Exercise therapy for ataxia will be especially useful.