Ataxia can develop over time or come on suddenly. Ataxia, a sign of a number of neurological disorders, may cause:

  • Poor coordination
  • Unsteady walk and a tendency to stumble
  • Difficulty with fine motor tasks, such as eating, writing or buttoning a shirt
  • Change in speech
  • Involuntary back-and-forth eye movements (nystagmus)
  • Difficulty swallowing

When to see a doctor

If you aren't aware of having a condition that causes ataxia, such as multiple sclerosis, see your doctor if you:

  • Lose balance
  • Lose muscle coordination in a hand, arm or leg
  • Have difficulty walking
  • Slur your speech
  • Have difficulty swallowing
Mar. 29, 2014