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Ataxia UK
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Hi, wonder if anybody has any experience of going through a stressful time with ataxia (idiopathic late onset cerebellar)? I wonder if stress can make it worse, and conversely, if the easing of a stressful situation can alleviate the symptoms or make them slightly better?

10 Replies

Hi Jill my symptoms definitely get worse with the slightest bit of stress. I also get stressed about things that I never used to get stressed about before! Everyone generally tries to keep things calm around me but that doesn't always work! I have spastic ataxia type 1 (SPAX1) take care and hopefully stay stress free!



My diagnosis of Late Onset Idiopathic Cerebellar Ataxia came 10 years ago. I had a very stressful life just before that but that had eased up a lot when the Ataxia started.

My condition deteriorates (this is normal for Ataxia) whether there is stress in my life or not and has never improved.

I find that the symptoms are worse when I am tired though.


I think you have got it right I am very stressed with my wife in hospital for now nearly 3 years, and with other issues it obviously makes my CA much worse but erratic, and with it Depression and Anxiety.


Hi there Jillj,

My ataxia iis believed to be auto-immune induced but i fact I had a super stressful life from 2004-2009, the crucial years. Like in the case of "Klaizen" the stress has generally stopped but crowds,stress, night and alcohol can make everything worse.N


Yesterday, I was on my own in a Supermarket supervising my Uncle (88 and verging on Dementia). My husband had left us to collect a prescription. I was having an 'off-day', difficult at the best of times, being forced to think for two people increased the stress.

No matter how much we are aware of the need to keep stress to a minimum, life succeeds in getting in the way😏xB

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Hi jillj

Yes stress affects me, if I am calm all goes better. I take deep breaths to destress and after that I am much better. Keep calm.

best wishes


Dear Jillj, I think stress makes my ataxia worse. Also, I get stressed-out and anxious over things that never bothered me before! I find it impossible to rush or multitask, therefore I go slower and do one thing at a time. Also, I find I get fatigued more easily, so I try to rest a bit when I need to. My first husband died at 43 years old (I was 42 and we had two children, 12 and 14 years old) a year before I started noticing very mild symptoms of ataxia. Therefore, I asked my neurologist if stress can cause ataxia. He said no, but I've always secretly wondered..., ;o)


my husband died recently,he was my caregiver.Can the stress of his death make my ataxia worse?


Hi Jillj

Stress definitely makes my ataxia worse, to such an extent that I use my ataxia as a sign of my stress level. If it's worse than normal, I'm probably stressed (or tired), even though I'm unaware of the stress. I am sure that reducing stress levels must reduce the symptoms of ataxia.


I have always been told my RA and Ataxia gets worse with any

sort of stress!!


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