to hear a audio clip & see Rich's picture
The following Web pages may be of help in understanding ataxia.
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description of links
What is Ataxia
My name is Richard Doonan and I have ataxia from SCA8
(spinocerebellar ataxia type 8). I thought I had sporadic OPCA
(olivopontocerebellar atrophy) , but genetic testing showed otherwise. To help you in your
search, here is what I know to date (Ataxia Links).
I am glad to share the following, but I do not guarantee every word. I am NOT a
doctor. It would not be exceptional for me to get something backwards.
There are many things that can cause ataxia (clumsiness) in one's gait (drunken walk). I
will focus on what is effecting me. I have a disorder causing the cerebellum
of the brain to degenerate. It is known as spinocerebellar ataxia type 8
(SCA8). There are many types of SCA, for which there are test for a limited number
of types (FRDA, DRPLA, SCA1, SCA2, SCA3, SCA6, SCA7, SCA8).
I tested negative for five types of SCA and no one in my family have similar symptoms so I
thought that I had OPCA.. I have had a phone call saying I tested positive for
I will include a chart on Multiple
System Atrophy because I had thought I had this:
|Sporadic Olivopontcerebellar Atrophy
||Striatonigral Degeneration Striatonigral Degeneration
These appear to be three manifestation of the same disease. (Some authorities contend that
while they have a common pathology; however, they are different specific diseases).
Throughout life I can look back on some possible symptoms (absent-minded, clumsily at
sports, and slowness of speech) or these were not symptoms, but just the way I was
made. I was fifty years old before the onset of this disease. It extensively
effected my gait, coordination, and memory (I have difficulty recalling
detail). At fifty-two my erratic balance confined me to use a power or a manual
wheelchair. I thicken my own water because of a swallowing problem. I
tire easily. I consider myself disabled and stopped working as a computer
programmer, because I could not be competitive in a rapidity changing industry. I
have a hearing problem that I can only explain that I can hear music, but it is not
musical to me. I react to sudden loud sounds.
My speech therapist had me slowed down my speech and this has helped me to be understood
(my speech is slurred). Other therapy has helped my coordination and strength.
I live in a retirement community. They provide for one meal per day, weekly provide
linen change, weekly my room is cleaned and laundry is done. I meet a
variety of people here, I visit in some other elderly care centers, I use the Internet and
email to discover more on my disorder, add my two cents, and find support, and I enjoy my
involvement at church
following Web pages may be of help in understanding ataxia.
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