Unfortunately, there is no cure for spinocerebellar ataxia 7 (SCA7). Management of affected individuals is generally supportive because there is currently no known treatment to delay or stop the progression of the disease. Exercise and/or physical therapy has not been shown to help with incoordination or muscle weakness, but individuals with SCA7 should try to maintain active. Canes and walkers can help prevent falls. Modification of the home with conveniences such as grab bars, raised toilet seats, and ramps to accommodate motorized chairs may be necessary. Speech therapy and communication devices such as writing pads and computer-based devices may benefit those with dysarthria (difficulty speaking). Weighted eating utensils and dressing hooks can help maintain a sense of independence. When dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) becomes troublesome, video esophagrams (a study using video x-rays of the esophagus) can identify the consistency of food least likely to trigger aspiration.
Last updated: 9/17/2014
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