Your browser does not support javascript:   Search for gard hereSearch for news-and-events here.

Diseases

Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Episodic ataxia


Other Names for this Disease
  • EA syndrome
  • Episodic Ataxia syndrome
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.

Overview

Episodic ataxia refers to a group of conditions that affect the central nervous system.[1] It affects specific nerve fibers that carry messages to and from the brain in order to control body movement.[1] The condition causes episodes of poor coordination and balance (ataxia).[2] Episodes may last from a few seconds to several hours.[1] During an episode, affected people may experience dizziness; nausea; vomiting; migraine headaches; impaired vision; slurred speech; and/or ringing in the ears (tinnitus). An attack may also cause seizures, muscle weakness, and/or paralysis of one side of the body (hemiplegia). Age of onset, symptoms and severity can vary. Some people have several attacks per day, while others may have one or two per year.[2] Episodic ataxia may be caused by a mutation in any of several genes and is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. In some cases, the genetic cause is unknown.[2][1] Treatment may include medication that reduces or eliminates symptoms. In some cases, symptoms improve or go away on their own.[1]

At least 8 types of episodic ataxia have been recognized (referred to as types 1 through 8), which are distinguished based on their age of onset, features, and/or genetic cause.[2] 
Last updated: 4/21/2016

References

  1. Frequently Asked Questions About... Episodic Ataxia. National Ataxia Foundation. September, 2015; https://www.ataxia.org/pdf/Episodic%20Ataxia.pdf.
  2. Episodic ataxia. Genetics Home Reference. August 2008; http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/episodic-ataxia. Accessed 10/10/2011.
GARD Video Tutorials
GARD Video Tutorials
Learn how to find information on treatment, research, specialists, and more.
Your Questions Answered
Your Questions Answered
View questions about this condition answered by GARD Information Specialists. You can also submit a new question.

Basic Information

In Depth Information

  • The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) is a catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. Each entry has a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Click on the link to view information about the different types of episodic ataxia.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) lists the subtypes and associated genes for Episodic ataxia in a table called Phenotypic Series. Each entry in OMIM includes a summary of related medical articles. It is meant for health care professionals and researchers. OMIM is maintained by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Episodic ataxia. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.

Selected Full-Text Journal Articles

Other Names for this Disease
  • EA syndrome
  • Episodic Ataxia syndrome
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.