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Is there any way to prevent hereditary ataxias?

Q: I am a 21 years old girl and my family is having a hereditary problem of cerebeller ataxia. Is there any injection that could be given during pregnancy so that my baby may not get affected?

A:Hereditary ataxias are a group of slowly progressive disorders characterised by poor coordination of limbs and movement and unsteady gait often accompanied by problems in speech or eye movements. They are classified based on the type (mode) of inheritance and the gene(s) involved. These disorders are differentiated from non-genetic causes of ataxia by family history, physical examination, neuro-imaging and molecular genetic tests. The risk to parents, siblings or offspring of an affected person is governed by the type of inheritance - autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive or X-linked recessive. Pre-natal diagnosis for some of the hereditary ataxias is available though there is no specific treatment for them. Please consult a clinical geneticist who can examine you and then give you further advice.


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