PRINT ISSN 1222-5304, ISSN-L: 2065-1295, ISSN CD: 2343-9394,ISSN ONLINE 2067-3663
 

ATAXIA – CLINICAL APPROACH

Published in Scientific Works. Series C. Veterinary Medicine, Vol. 19 ISSUE 3
Written by Cristina FERNOAGA, Mario CODREANU, Mihai CORNILA

Ataxia is defined by the loss of movement coodination and it represents one of the most important clinical signs in localizing the neurological lesion. The ataxic patient finds itself in the impossibility to coordinate head, trunk, limbs and tail position. Ataxia is a sensorial dysfunction that can only be observed when the patient moves. Ataxia is often mistaken with paresis (weakness of the limbs). Unlike paresis, ataxia only affects coordination and not muscle strength. A detailed pacient history should be provided in order to identify the cause of the ataxia. While most patients with ataxia have a primary neurological disease, it is important to know that metabolic diseases (e.g. hypoglycemia, hypocalcaemia), toxins (e.g. lead, organophosphates), and drugs (e.g. Phenobarbital, Metronidazol) can cause ataxia. Once a detailed history is obtained, physical and neurological examinations should be performed. The neurological examination enables the clinician to identify the type of ataxia. Once the type of ataxia is identified, further diagnostic tests should be performed according to the type of ataxia and the localization of the lesion. There are three types of ataxia, namely proprioceptive, cerebellar and vestibular.

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