Cerebellar ataxia infantile with progressive external ophthalmoplegia

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Cerebellar Ataxia Infantile with Progressive External Ophthalmoplegia is a rare neurological disorder characterized by early-onset ataxia, or lack of voluntary coordination of muscle movements, and progressive external ophthalmoplegia, which is a condition affecting the muscles that control eye movement. This disorder falls under the broader category of mitochondrial diseases, as it often involves dysfunction in the mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles within cells.

Symptoms and Diagnosis[edit | edit source]

The primary symptoms of Cerebellar Ataxia Infantile with Progressive External Ophthalmoplegia include uncoordinated movements, difficulty walking, and progressive weakness in the eye muscles, leading to difficulties in moving the eyes and eyelids. This can result in double vision, drooping eyelids (ptosis), and difficulty in maintaining eye contact. As the disease progresses, individuals may also experience muscle weakness in other parts of the body.

Diagnosis of this condition typically involves a combination of clinical evaluation, genetic testing, and imaging studies such as MRI of the brain, which can reveal characteristic changes in the cerebellum. Muscle biopsy and tests assessing mitochondrial function may also be conducted to confirm the diagnosis.

Causes[edit | edit source]

Cerebellar Ataxia Infantile with Progressive External Ophthalmoplegia is caused by genetic mutations that affect mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are responsible for producing the energy cells need to function properly. Mutations in the genes that control mitochondrial operation can lead to energy production issues, causing symptoms of the disease. The condition is often inherited in an autosomal recessive manner, meaning that an individual must inherit two copies of the mutated gene, one from each parent, to be affected.

Treatment[edit | edit source]

There is currently no cure for Cerebellar Ataxia Infantile with Progressive External Ophthalmoplegia. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and improving quality of life. This may include physical therapy to help with coordination and movement, speech therapy, and the use of devices to aid mobility. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct eyelid droop and improve vision.

Prognosis[edit | edit source]

The prognosis for individuals with Cerebellar Ataxia Infantile with Progressive External Ophthalmoplegia varies. The progression of symptoms can be slow, and many individuals live well into adulthood. However, the quality of life can be significantly affected by the severity of the symptoms, particularly in terms of mobility and independence.

Research[edit | edit source]

Research into Cerebellar Ataxia Infantile with Progressive External Ophthalmoplegia is ongoing, with scientists looking for better ways to treat and manage the condition. This includes research into gene therapy and other treatments that target the underlying mitochondrial dysfunction.

Cerebellar ataxia infantile with progressive external ophthalmoplegia Resources
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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD