What about our hearts

I’m curious…anyone know or hearing of any affects of ataxia on one’s heart? I’ve just found out from a visit to the outpatient cardiac unit and an echocardiogram that I have a leaky aorta, tricuspid, and mitral valve…I’ve known about the mitral valve prolapse for years but the others are new. I’ve thankfully found a wonderful site that’s great in keeping me calm while I wait to see a cardiologist. www.heartvalvesurgery.com

:slightly_smiling_face: Specific types of ataxia are known to be linked with heart conditions. Google ‘cardiac involvement with hereditary ataxias’. (The direct link failed)


Thanks, though my situation doesn’t fit as I don’t have hereditary ataxia. Instead I have anesthesia-induced ataxia. On the other hand, perhaps my heart valves being compromised have more to do with not taking enough antibiotics when having dental surgeries, which I’ve had two in the last 12 months. Interesting….then again, I could be finally expressing my dad’s genes in that he had a heart condition diagnosed in his sixties, which is my age now. How wonderfully we are made! That’s for sure! jd

Maybe. Heart conditions are often associated with certain types of ataxia, although, I think it’s rare. Because, essentially, ataxia is caused by some form of damage to the cerebellum, (the brains control centre for balance and coordination among other things). There may be other parts of the brain that are affected also including those that control heart function, depending on the underlying cause(s) For example those that are effected by Friedreich’s Ataxia commonly have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, arrhythmias or enlarged heart. Respectively, it may not be uncommon to experience these difficulties with any type of these neurological conditions, since they all may share similar attributes.
My father suffered a heart attack at age 56 simply because of brain damage caused by anesthetic overdose. Certain parts of his brain that controlled his heart function were damaged.
I have an unrelated condition known as MSA. It (MSA) shares many of the same symptoms which can include heart conditions.
Hope this info helps. Not to scare you.
It sounds like your heart conditions may be separate from these neurological conditions.

Hi! My 16 year old son has unknown Ataxia and we just found out his Aorta is slightly dilated and they have no idea why.

Actually your response is encouraging to me. I’m banking on my likely expressing my dad’s genes. A lot less scary. :smirk: jd

Anyone else in the family history with a dilated aorta? Doc’s have been watching my dad’s since his sixties…age I’m now in.
May your son have the very best doctor/heart valve surgeon taking care of him. jd

We have no other family members like my son. We don’t have an specific doctor, cardiologist that is at Children’s yet. However we have noticed that many doctors have no idea about Ataxia :slightly_smiling_face:. We have had the best of luck at Philly Childrens.

I have A0A2. I had a open heart operation at age 7 years for a hole in the heart. And I still have a leaky mitral valve. My Dr’s say the Ataxia and heart problems are not related.

Good to know. One less thing to worry about. jd