By: SpaztasticVulnerability

Q & a q. What is friedreich's ataxia? a. FA is a hereditary neuromuscular disease, caused by a defective gene that can be passed down through a family. Q.

What are some of the common symptoms associated with friedreich's ataxia? a. Commonly um, the initial symptoms are shaking and trembling, muscle weakness and, of course, ataxia, which is, a loss of balance and coordination. Medically speaking, Friedreich's Ataxia mostly affects the spinal cord & the peripheral nerves. Q. For those us who don't know, what are peripheral nerves? a. The peripheral nerves are those that control muscle movement in the arms and legs, via the nervous system and, having FA, movement problems develop and they worsen over time. Q. What are some other symptoms? a.

Other symptoms include gradual loss of strength and sensation in the arms and legs, muscle stiffness (spasticity), impaired speech, impaired vision, hearing loss, and scoliosis. WHAT IF THE SCOLIOSIS IS SEVERE? If severe enough, um, it may impair the breathing.....which would usually require a surgery to straighten the spine. I see that you are in a wheelchair. IS THAT COMMON FOR ATAXIANS? Yes. Um.

Friedreich's Ataxia requires the use of a wheelchair about 10 years after signs and symptoms appear. WHEN DID YOU BEGINE USING A WHEELCHAIR? I began using a wheelchair fulltime at around 29, like I said, um, with F.A......sorry Friedreich's Ataxia, symptoms gradually worsen and slowly spread to the legs arms and trunk. Q. Are there any obvious signs, besides a wheelchair, that i can be aware of in someone with ataxia? a. Gait abnormalities, such as stumbling or swaying, head "bobbling", foot changes such as flexion (involuntary bending) of the toes, hammer toes, or foot inversion (turning in) easy ankle rolling. Those all could be obvious signs.


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