What is the differene between Cerrebellar Atrophy & Ataxia

I am hoping that someone can give me an answer.

5-8 yrs. ago my neurologist said my cerebellar has been damaged , I checked on line dictionary and the word Ataxia was in it. I checked Ataxia and I was stunned ,it read like a discription of myself. " 3.yrs ago he said it was Ataxia.

about 6 months ago I found your site " WOW" . This has changed everything for me , to be part of such wonderful & informative people.

I was sent to a Neuro who specializes in Parkinson's. She said no to Parkinson's & no to Ataxia , but said I have Cerebellar Atrophy.

What is the difference. The Drs. don't seem to know much about it.

Find a doctor that specializes in Ataxia, I have cereballar atrophy and ataxi, I think both of them go hand in hand.

Hi, that's my understanding as well. My cerebellum is quite atrophied, so I have ataxia (a combo of symptoms). I certainly would see an ataxia specialist.


Jack said:

Find a doctor that specializes in Ataxia, I have cereballar atrophy and ataxi, I think both of them go hand in hand.

My son has cerebellar atrophy, he has ataxia as in very bad balance but does not have attacks in the way someone with EA would. He is a full time wheelchair user, he can transfer but cannot stand or walk unaided.

Yes I agree cerebellar atrophy does cause ataxia and as your's is due to damage it isnt a genetic type of ataxia.

Welcome to the forum - I hope you find it as beneficial as I have.

Take care,


Think Ataxia is a symptom of Cerebellar Degeneration.My balance and speech are definitely affected but you don't have to have all the symptoms.My MRI taken years ago showed Cerebellar Atrophy.I just tell people it is a brain disease as they don't really understand.I have Cerebellar Ataxia of unknown cause-there are a lot of us with an unknown cause.

The doctors and Neurologists seem to take a lot more notice of you if you can prove your findings with something concrete.I knew something was wrong but until I had the MRI which showed'disproportinate cerebellar atrophy ' I was told it was stress.

It is ahuge relief to be believed and be given a label.Then your doctor can step in and it gives you access to sorts of help.

My husband has CA and also dementia, a recent scan on his brain showed cerebellar atrophy. I am sorry to say that surely this is the cause of the dementia although his brother does not show symptoms of dementia but is in a wheelchair. What a terrible illness LIz

Same thing....different term. Both are a result of cerebellar degeneration

I'm confused by what you've said (doesn't take much...,ha!). I was diagnosed 9 years ago with sporadic cerebellar ataxia (non-hereditary/unknown cause). I had an MRI initially, and it showed atrophy of my cerebellum, hence ataxia symptoms. I've since had another MRI and the atrophy has progressed a bit. You said you have a damaged cerebellum and have ataxia symptoms, but the second neurologist you saw said you don't have ataxia, just cerebellar atrophy. This is the part that confuses me. It is my understanding if one has cerebellar atrophy, they also have ataxia symptoms. You're so right when you say the doctors don't seem to know much about it! I agree with what others have said, see a neuro that specializes in ataxia. Best wishes...,;o)