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How Is Ataxia Diagnosed?
In addition to a thorough medical history, family history, and complete neurological and physical examination, the following diagnostic procedures may be performed:
- Laboratory tests (including blood and urine studies)
- Genetic testing – The goal of this testing is to look at your DNA to identify any differences that could predispose you to hereditary ataxia.
These diagnostic procedures may also be used to rule out other conditions that can cause ataxia to appear. Certain conditions can cause ataxia to appear suddenly, such as head trauma, stroke, brain hemorrhage, brain tumor, congenital abnormalities, infections, post exposure to certain drugs, and also following cardiac or respiratory arrests.
Some conditions can cause ataxia to appear gradually, such as hypothyroidism, deficiencies of certain vitamins such as B-12 or vitamin E, exposure to certain drugs, multiple sclerosis, syphilis, and other disorders.