Incoordination as a symptom
Incoordination is also known as ataxia. It is the lack of muscle control which causes jerky movements, unpredictable movements or movements that difficult to complete. Often, incoordination implies dysfunction of nervous system parts that coordinate movement. People who suffer from incoordination are said to be clumsy and uncoordinated. Incoordination is a symptom of an underlying medical condition that emerges and requires quick and proper medical attention. Incoordination can be experienced as a result of ingested substances like alcohol that tend to disrupt the nervous system coordination.
Types of incoordination
There are three main types of incoordination. They include the following:
This refers to incoordination due to a dysfunction of the cerebellum. This type of incoordination causes a variety of neurological deficits like; antagonist hypotonia, asynergy, dyschronometria, dysdiadochokinesia and dysmetria. Whre and how this deficits occur depends on the affected cerebellar structure and whether the lesion is bilateral or unilateral.
Dysfunction of the vestibulocerebellum: affects the balance and controll of the eye movement. It is characterized by postural instability where the affected party has to separate the feet while standing so as to gain balance and avoid forward-backward oscillations. An individual feels unstable even when the eyes are open.
Dysfunction of the spinocerebellum: This type of incoordination is characterized by a wide based gait that causes uncertain starts and stops, unequal steps and lateral deviations. The part of cerebellum that is affected in this case is responsible fro regulating the body and limb movement.
Dysfunction of the cerebrocerebellum: characterized by disturbance in carrying out planned and voluntary movements that include; intention tremor movements that involve the head, eyes and limbs, writing abnormalities and peculiar pattern of dysarthria.
This type of incoordination is caused by loss of sensitivity to the joints position and body parts. It is mainly caused by dysfunction of dorsal columns of the spinal cord which carry the the proprioceptive information to the brain. It could also be caused by a dysfunction parts of the brain that receive positional information. It is characterized by unsteady stomping gait with heavy heel strike and postural instability which is worse in dark areas.
This incoordination is due to a dysfunction of the vestibular system. In acute and unilateral cases nausea, vomiting and prominent vertigo are noted. Chronic bilateral cases of vestibular ataxia are characterized by disequilibrium.
Symptoms of incoodination
The symptoms and timing of incoordination varies in different individuals. The most common symptoms of incoordination are:
Change in balance and coordination
Incoordination of arms and legs
Wide based gait
Slurring of speech
Slow eye movement
Writing and eating difficulty
These symptoms may resemble the symptoms of other conditions, it is therefore important to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis.
Diagnosis and treatment
Incoordination is diagnosed through the following procedures:
Laboratory test that includes blood and urine tests
X-rays which is the use of invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce internal bones, organs and tissues.
Magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) which is a procedure that uses large magnets, radio-frequencies and a computer to produced detailed images of structures and organs within the body.
Genetic testing is performed to determine if a person has certain gene changes which increase certain inherited conditions.
There is no cure for hereditary ataxia and there is also no medication that treats ataxia symptoms.
If incoordination is caused by stroke, exposure to toxic drugs or low levels of vitamin, the treatment given is aimed at treating the particular conditions.
The treatment for incoordination involves use of adaptive devices like walkers, clutches and canes that allow the affected person to maintain independence.
Physical therapy, speech therapy combined with medication helps symptoms like depression, stiffness, sleeping disorders and tremors.