Cerebellar ataxia, Friedreich's ataxia, ataxia-telangiectasia, spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs), episodic ataxia, acquired ataxia, idiopathic late-onset cerebellar ataxia (ILOCA), ataxia with vitamin E deficiency

What is ataxia?

Ataxia is a rare neurological condition that affects a person’s coordination, balance and speech.

What causes ataxia?

Ataxia is usually caused by damage to the brain or other parts of the nervous system.

In most cases, there is no cure for ataxia. However, treatments, like physiotherapy, can be used to control the symptoms experienced.

What are the symptoms of ataxia?

Symptoms of ataxia may include:

  • difficulty walking
  • struggling to swallow
  • slurred speech
  • balance issues

Are you affected by ataxia?

If you’re affected by ataxia, The Brain Charity can support you.

We are the only charity in the UK to be here for every one of the more than 600 different neurological conditions in existence. Individually, many are rare, but combined, they affect 1 in 6 people.

We provide practical help on all aspects of living with ataxia, emotional support such as counselling, phone befriending and group therapy and social activities to people with ataxia from all over the UK from our centre in Liverpool.

Looking to talk to someone?

Woman smiling, making eye contact and holding the hand of another woman to comfort her

Phone us

Contact The Brain Charity now

Our friendly Information & Advice Officers are here to help. We endeavour to respond to all enquiries within 10 working days.

0151 298 2999

Looking to talk to someone?

  • Please tell us which neurological condition you are affected by and what you need support with.

Caring for someone with ataxia

Ataxia can make things, like walking, eating or writing, difficult. Since ataxia affects everyone in different ways, the care and support needed varies, but treatments like speech and language therapy and occupational therapy can help.

We support carers, friends and family too

Are you a carer for or relative of someone with ataxia? It’s just as important for you to look after your own physical and mental wellbeing too.

The Brain Charity provides free support for carers, friends and family of people with any form of neurological condition, including ataxia, from anywhere in the UK.

We also run an additional carers advocacy service for all carers in Liverpool, regardless of which type of condition the person they care for has.

You don’t need to be a formal or registered carer

We can help you even if you don’t view yourself as a formal carer or claim Carer’s Allowance. Find out some of the ways we support carers below.

Other resources

The Brain Charity's library

The Brain Charity's library has resources on ataxia, and on a wide-range of other disability-related issues.

Support groups

Ataxia North West Support Group

The Ataxia North West Support Group meets at The Brain Charity on the first Saturday of each month. Click here for more information.

You can also find them on Facebook here.

Other charities

Ataxia UK

Action for A-T

A-T Society (supports people living with ataxia-telangiectasia)

Tel. 01582 760733