Ataxia is an umbrella term for a neurological disorder with the reduced ability to control voluntary movements that can include walking difficulties, speech changes, falls and abnormalities in eye movements.

There are different types of ataxia including

  • Spinocerebellar ataxia
  • Friedreichs ataxia
  • Acquired ataxia
  • Idiopathic ataxia

Friedreichs and spinocerebellar ataxia are examples of inherited ataxia. When ataxia is not inherited it can be due to many different causes such as brain injury, diet or even side effects of medication.

Individualised assessment and rehabilitation for ataxia is important to maintain function, quality of life and reduce any secondary complications. Therapists at Rope Neuro Rehabilitation will look at using restorative techniques and compensatory strategies to maintain independence. Therapy can help look into the following:

  • Improving and maintaining mobility and balance
  • Optimising posture
  • Reducing muscle spasm
  • Tremor management
  • Muscle tone/spasticity management
  • Improving cardiovascular fitness
  • Muscle and core strengthening
  • Optimising seating and walking aids
  • Fatigue management

 

The Duncan Foundation and NZ Physiotherapy Neuro specialist interest group are providing grants for the provision of allied health support for the NZ Research and Rehab clinic.

If you are a person with ataxia or involved with a person with ataxia and would like to have an assessment and/or be part of the Research and Rehab clinic you may contact me – Julie Rope on julie@ropeneurorehab.co.nz 021753279

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