The doctor will ask you if you have recently been sick, and will try to rule out any other causes of the problem. A full brain and nervous system examination will be done to identify the areas of the nervous system that are most affected.
If the acute cerebellar ataxia is due to bleeding, surgery may be needed.
For a stroke, medication to thin the blood can be given.
Infections may need to be treated with antibiotics.
Steroids may be needed for swelling (inflammation) of the cerebellum (such as from multiple sclerosis)
Cerebellar ataxia caused by a recent viral infection may not need treatment.
People whose condition was caused by a recent viral infection should make a full recovery without treatment in a few months. Strokes, bleeding, or infections may cause permanent symptoms.
Movement or behavioral disorders may (rarely) persist.
Calling your health care provider
Call your health care provider if any symptoms of ataxia appear.
Johnston M. Movement disorders. In: Kliegman R, Behrman R, Jenson H, Stanton B, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 597.
Lublin FD, Miller AE. Multiple sclerosis and other inflammatory demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system. In: Bradley WG, Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, eds. Neurology in Clinical Practice. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Butterworth-Heinemann Elsevier; 2008:chap 58.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by Joseph V. Campellone, MD, Division of Neurology, Cooper University Hospital, Camden, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.