Ataxia and Frailty

Ataxia and Frailty

When I was a safety officer at Dartmouth, I did a fair amount of work on surgical/patient safety…. a big focus of ours was frailty-what we found was patients who tested positive had longer length of stay in the hospital and discharge to non-home settings. Frailty is not just aging but a defined medical condition. Frailty has been reported with other neurodegenerative conditions-like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s Disease, but not ataxia

Frailty and ataxia symptoms are common- fatigue, weight loss, cognitive decline. and muscle loss. Some questions that I have: is it the muscle loss leading to frailty? Should exercises focus on strength building-not just on balance? is this also progressive-(patients with ataxia for 5 years are less frail than someone with say 20 years)?

What I did hear was patients with ataxia recovered slowly after surgery, but we don’t know why. So what I would like to ask you suffering from this horrible disorder a small quiz-personal interest. Hopefully, it should take no more than 2 minutes. Here are the questions. If you do decide to answer them please send it to me as a me


  1. What type of ataxia do you have?


  1. When were you diagnosed?


  1. When was your surgery? (If you had any after you were diagnosed )


  1. Do you know where in your body the surgery was? (e.g. nose, abdomen, right knee, back)


  1. How long did you stay in the hospital to recover?


  1. Have you lost weight post diagnosis? Are you able to walk-is it slower? Yes No





Do you want to understand your health condition?


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