Treatment of ataxia depends on the disease that is causing it. When ataxia is a symptom to a medical or neurological disease, a specific treatment can be used to improve or cure the problem. When ataxia is due to genetic or unknown causes, no specific cure is available. Clinical research is currently underway to test different compounds, e.g. vitamin E and Co-enzyme Q-10, which are potentially useful in slowing the disease course. In addition, some drugs are being tested for use in rare forms of genetic ataxias: zolpidem in SCA2; acetazolamide and phenytoin in some types of episodic ataxia.
Treatments to improve quality of life:
- Physical Therapy is used to improve balance, strength, and flexibility.
- Speech Therapy can help patients overcome communication problems.
- Occupational Therapy can help patients remain independent by developing plans for self-care, feeding, and writing.
- Counseling with a Social Worker can help patients and family with coping skills, finding community resources, problem-solving, and emotional support.
- Medications are available to relieve symptoms that are sometimes associated with ataxia such as: tremor, stiffness, muscle spasms, and problems with balance.