The doctor will ask if the person has recently been sick and will try to rule out any other causes of the problem. Brain and nervous system examination will be done to identify the areas of the nervous system that are most affected.
If the acute cerebellar ataxia is due to bleeding, surgery may be needed.
For a stroke, medication to thin the blood can be given.
Infections may need to be treated with antibiotics or antivirals.
Steroids may be needed for swelling (inflammation) of the cerebellum (such as from multiple sclerosis)
Cerebellar ataxia caused by a recent viral infection may not need treatment.
People whose condition was caused by a recent viral infection should make a full recovery without treatment in a few months. Strokes, bleeding, or infections may cause permanent symptoms.
Movement or behavioral disorders may (rarely) persist.
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if any symptoms of ataxia appear.
Houtchens MK, Lublin FD, Miller AE, Khoury SJ. Multiple sclerosis and other inflammatory demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system. In: Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC. Bradley’s Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 54.
LaRussa PS, Marin M. Varicella-zoster virus infection. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW III, et al., eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 245.
Steinlin M. The continuum of parainfectious reactions of the cerebellum in childhood. Neuropediatrics. 2012;43:238-239.
Subramony SH, Xia G. Disorders of the cerebellum, including the degenerative ataxias. In: Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC. Bradley’s Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 72.
Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles and Department of Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.