Is Ataxia Contagious

For those of us with non-genetic forms of ataxia, has it ever been passed onto a family member, like a spouse? While all health care people tell me that Ataxia is not known to be contagious, I can't help feeling that I caught it from an acquaintance while on a cruise in 2001 by sharing utensils, having a taste of this and a sip of that. Although she was never formally diagnosed as having Ataxia, she did have ataxic symptoms. She could not walk down the stairs. And she slurred words occasionally. It took 14 long years to slowly destroy me without my realizing it. My handwriting slowly deteriorated, my typing became slow and inaccurate. I could not walk on the treadmill without holding on to the side rails. I could not walk down the steps without holding the railing, and couldn't walk in tandem.

Now I have been diagnosed with Ataxia and I feel my balance keeps getting worse as time passes.

I can't help but feel I caught it from this acquaintance by sharing utensils. If this is true, spouses would catch it simply by kissing the infected person. So what's your opinion?

Hi barb:-)
Please accept that in no way is Spinocerebellar Ataxia contagious, it is not at all possible to contract this condition by cross contamination.

Have a look at the National Ataxia Foundation website, there’s quite a lot of information relating to the condition, I hope it will help to put your mind at rest:-)

If after reading that and finding you still need reassurance, you might feel better after talking with your Neurologist:-)

Best regards :-)xB

There is NO WAY this is contagious!!!! The only way you can have it passed from one person to the next is if it is hereditary. Unless you had a parent/grandparent with it you cannot get it from someone else.

The only other way to get this is idiopathic (ataxia is a result of another disease).

Sorry to read that your not feeling well,Barbra..Ataxia is a horrible ill-ness,not contagious,thou!..Get advice to manage better as progressive symptoms sneek up on us with-out too much warning,,

Sincerely, Ozzy..

The only person I know in my family that had it was my mothers brother, my uncle. They think* that is where I got it through gene pool. They think*

Ataxia is a symptom of a disease, illness, injury, vitamin deficiency, chemical poison or drug/alcohol use/abuse. A contagious disease or illness can be a possibility and usually those are tested and ruled out before genetic testing is done. Genetic diseases that cause ataxia like FA, Huntingtons and the SCA’s are not contagious, they are hereditary diseases and caused by a tripple repeat CAG expansion beyond a specific threshold in the DNA.

As far as I know it isn't. Someone gets the disease either as a result of some other condition or accident, or geneticaly - there doesn't need to be family history for it (as I know all too well), it could be a spontaneous genetic mutation. You can't "catch" it from utensils. And it can take years to show - I was diagnosed at 38, it was slowly progressive for me. 10 years before you wouldn't have suspected anything!