Treatment Options in Degenerative Cerebellar Ataxia: A Systematic Review

Harini Sarva, Vicki Lynn Shanker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The etiology of cerebellar ataxia (CA) is heterogeneous and includes easily identified and often reversible causes (i.e., drug toxicity and vitamin B12 deficiency) as well as irreversible degenerative conditions. It is the latter that poses a significant therapeutic challenge for practitioners treating this population of patients. To date, there are no U.S. Food and Drug Administration–approved medications for the treatment of CA. The literature, consisting mostly of case reports, case series, and small clinical trials, is sparse and scattered. These studies are difficult to translate clinically because they often describe diverse study populations with various identified and unidentified genetic etiologies. In addition, the reported treatment duration is often brief, and it is uncertain whether any of these options provide substantially lasting benefits. In this article, we review published reports and studies to aid the practitioner counseling patients with degenerative ataxias.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-298
Number of pages8
JournalMovement Disorders Clinical Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2014


  • cerebellar ataxia
  • physical therapy
  • treatment


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