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Your QuestionMy father was diagnosed with cerebellar degeneration. He isn't on any medication and he feels terrible all the time. Is there anything out there that can help him such as medications or alternative therapies?
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There is currently no cure for the hereditary causes of cerebellar degeneration. Treatment is usually supportive unless the cause is acquired and reversible. In such cases, the underlying condition is treated first. For example, paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration may improve after successful treatment of the underlying cancer. For alcoholic/nutritional cerebellar degeneration, thiamine is given along with other B vitamins, usually relieving the condition if the patient stops drinking alcohol and resumes a normal diet. A variety of drugs may be used to treat gait and swallowing disorders. Physical therapy can strengthen muscles, while special devices or appliances can assist in walking and other activities of daily life.
Last updated: 3/28/2011
- NINDS Ataxias and Cerebellar or Spinocerebellar Degeneration Information Page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). June 3, 2008; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/ataxia/ataxia.htm. Accessed 10/2/2008.
- Cerebellar Disorders. The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library. August 2007; http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec16/ch221/ch221j.html. Accessed 10/2/2008.
- Cerebellar Degeneration, Subacute. NORD. 2007; http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdbdetail_abstract.html?disname=Cerebellar%20Degeneration%2C%20Subacute. Accessed 3/28/2011.