Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA1)

Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) is a genetic degenerative disorder slowly affecting a person’s gait, speech articulation and movement of hands and eyes. Initial symptoms of difficulties with coordination and balance (ataxia) can appear anytime from childhood to late adulthood, but usually begin in early adulthood. Additional symptoms may develop over time, including double vision, difficulty swallowing, involuntary muscle contraction, Parkinsonism, numbness and pain, Restless Leg Syndrome, and incontinence. Cognitive impairment may also become apparent in advanced stages.

As the disease progresses, MRI and CT results can show a greater shrinkage or atrophy of the cerebellum. Currently, there is no known cure or treatment to prevent or inhibit the progression of symptoms or damage to the cerebellum.

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The Movement Disorders Center, part of Northwell Health Neuroscience Institute, improves lives by providing treatments for a wide range of neurological movement disorders and diseases.


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