Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Friedreich's Ataxia Evaluation

Evaluation of Friedreich's ataxia begins with a history and physical examination.

Physical findings in someone with Friedreich's ataxia include:

  • Lateral curvature of the spinal column
  • Muscle spasticity
  • Abnormal muscle tone
  • Foot deformities:
    • Hammertoe and high arches may also be evident on exam.
  • Poor balance
  • Abnormal reflexes
  • Nystagmus:
    • Abnormal movements of the eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Numbness
  • Unsteady gait
  • Tremors

Advanced findings in someone with Friedreich's ataxia include:

Testing is required to confirm the diagnosis of Friedreich's ataxia.

Tests that may be used to evaluate Friedreich's ataxia include:

Continue to Friedreich's Ataxia Treatment

Last Updated: Dec 13, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Friedreich's Ataxia References
  1. Ogawa M. Pharmacological treatments of cerebellar ataxia. Cerebellum. 2004;3(2):107-11. [15233578]
  2. Pandolfo M. Friedreich ataxia. Semin Pediatr Neurol. 2003 Sep;10(3):163-72. [14653404]
  3. Schols L, Meyer Ch, Schmid G, Wilhelms I, Przuntek H. Therapeutic strategies in Friedreich's ataxia. J Neural Transm Suppl. 2004;(68):135-45. [15354399]
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