Disruption of the vestibular-ocular-cerebellar control mechanism produces ataxia. Ataxia is persistent unsteadiness in the upright position. Any patient complaining of dizziness must be evaluated for abnormal function of the vestibular, visual, proprioceptive, and cerebellar systems. Equilibrium requires the integration of sensory input and motor output, acting primarily at a reflex level for the maintenance of balance. The ears and eyes and their central connections in the brain stem and the cerebellum are intimately involved in balance. Any patient with ataxia should be asked the following questions:
Have you noticed that the dizziness is worse when your eyes are open or closed?'' What does your diet consist of? What did you eat yesterday?'' Have you ever had syphilis?''
Abnormal proprioceptive input from the lower extremities can cause ataxia. Severe posterior column damage from syphilis, vitamin B12 deficiency, or multiple sclerosis may produce a ''sensory'' ataxia, resulting in a wide-based, high-stepping gait. The gait is worsened by having the patient close the eyes and is improved by having the patient observe the feet. Vitamin B12 deficiency may result from pernicious anemia or from inadequate intake, although poor nutrition is a rare cause. ''Motor'' ataxia results from an abnormality in the cerebellum and central vestibular pathways. It is characterized by wide-based, irregular placement of the feet and poor placement of the center of gravity, with a lurching to either side.
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Are you sick of feeling like the whole world Is spinning out of control. Do You Feel Weak Helpless Nauseous? Are You Scared to Move More Than a Few Inches From The Safety of Your Bed! Then you really need to read this page. You see, I know exactly what you are going through right now, believe me, I understand because I have been there & experienced vertigo at it's worst!