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Is Cerebral and Cerebellar Ataxia hereditary?

Q: I am suffering for the last 10 years from Cerebral and Cerebellar Ataxia. The MRI & CT scan has confirmed that. My memory however is pretty sharp however my muscle coordination has been affected and I cant walk/stand even though there is enough strength in the legs/hips. I also choke frequently while eating and sometimes can't control the urge to urinate. It was told to us that this is not curable and reason for this also not known. However since some my brothers also suffered from this hence this might be hereditary. I was wondering if new medicines are available to cure the disease? Is it possible that my son or daughter can get the disease? If yes then is there a way to prevent that from happening?

A:The condition you describe is hereditary and progressive. I fear there is no new medicine yet for the same. Hereditary diseases are of 2 main types. In one of the disease is transmitted from parents to children and then further into the next generation. In one disease occurs only among brothers and sisters and then does not go to the next generation. In cerebellar disease both types are known but usually if disease starts early before age 20 it will stay only in one generation. This is however only a general rule. If your children are destined to get the disease there is little at present known that we can do to prevent it except avoid smoking, alcohol, and unnecessary drugs. At present there is no other treatment possible. I suggest you see a good neurology centre near your place to see what type of disease you have exactly. Of course science is advancing fast and in 5-15 years there may be several new answers.

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