Young people with ataxia

My first symptoms appeared when I was in my late 30's to early 40's. (I'm now 58) I have had mild ataxia with unsteady gait and balance with increasing poorer coordination and speech/swallowing since. I was able to have my mother (late 60's and using a cane) seen by my neurologist and diagnosed. My mother's symptoms caused her to use a four point cane, a walker, and finally a wheelchair. She also has an older brother affected in his 80's. My mother died at age 82. For a long time, the doctors didn't know what to call this. I was finally diagnosed with SCA 5 in 1995. Although I still drive and do some auto detailing, I was forced to retire in 2010 as a cardiac scrub technician due to my inability to stand without leaning for any length of time. In the last four years, I've broken both arms in falls. Anyone else have similar symptoms? -Tom

I know what you mean… I was diagonised with sca3 at 32 so it sux’s… Wasn’t ready for it,I’m 37 now I started on a cane but it got too difficult to walk… So I’m using a walker now… Still work… Thank god company i work for has looked after me… I still drive but I get. A lift to and from work from work colleague … Really nice of them…
I’ve come to realize that people can be nice and to accept it… I guess karma really works… I was always respectful to ppl … So it’s come full circle.
Anyway all the best to u… This disease really sux…

Tom, While my symptoms seem to have appeared at age 62 looking back things that occurred much earlier could have been associated with Ataxia. I no longer drive -- coordination and eye seeing problems an issue. It is not that I can't see but what I am seeing appears not to register quickly enough.

Not being able to drive a real bummer but best not to hurt others.

Dear Tom, I'm 60 years young, diagnosed with cerebellar ataxia at 49 years of age. Thinking back, I had small symptoms that I started to notice in my early 40's. My symptoms are the same as yours, as my ataxia affects my gait/balance, dexterity, speech and swallowing. I started using a regular cane about four years ago to prevent falls, although recently I started using a quad cane for more stability. I've taken some pretty nasty falls (when NOT using my cane), severely injuring my back, hairline fracturing my pelvis, bruising both knees and cutting open the back of my head, requiring 9 staples. I now have a prescription from my neuro for a rollator. My ataxia has progressed, albeit slowly. I do exercises for strength and balance, as they help, as well as stretches, as my muscles get so tight. I eat as healthy as possible (lots of veggies and fresh fruit). My thought is if you don't use it you lose it...,ha! I also take some neuro recommended vitamins and supplements. I've had physical therapy in the past, which helped, although my insurance will only pay for 15 sessions per year. I currently have a prescription for aquatic therapy, so I plan to set that up. No one in my family, as far back as we know has/had ataxia, except me! My neuro and I are clueless as to why. I was previously a social worker, but retired about 8 years ago due to my ataxia If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! My best to you..., ;o)

Rose, I sure wish I could still use a rollator walker -- I had to abandon mine -- too many falls where I went over the walker or simply brought the walker down over me.

Hi all, what works for me is attitude. I try to look at things on the positive. I live in Boston and when it get down I remind myself that at least I have 2 legs!! Got myself a Active Rollator from Finland. It’s not to clerical looking and gives me the lift I need. I have cerebellar ataxia, diagnosed 5 years ago. My older brother has it. No one else in the family. I am 58. Retired 2 years ago. Cloudy rainy days affect my balance badly. Have to surround myself with positive people. Contact me directly if you want to talk. Keep moving everybody… C