Treatable Causes of Cerebellar Ataxia

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The cerebellar ataxia syndromes are a heterogeneous group of disorders clinically characterized by the presence of cerebellar dysfunction. Initial assessment of patients with progressive cerebellar ataxia is complex because of an extensive list of potential diagnoses. A detailed history and comprehensive examination are required for an accurate diagnosis and hierarchical diagnostic investigations. Although no cure exists for most of these conditions, a small group of metabolic, hereditary, inflammatory, and immune-mediated etiologies of cerebellar ataxia are amenable to disease-modifying, targeted therapies. Over the past years, disease-specific treatments have emerged. Thus, clinicians must become familiar with these disorders because maximal therapeutic benefit is only possible when done early. In this article, we review disorders in which cerebellar ataxia is a prominent clinical feature requiring targeted treatments along with specific management recommendations. © 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society

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