September 25th - International Ataxia Awareness Day 2019

International Ataxia Awareness Day takes place every year on 25 September to raise awareness related to Ataxia.

September 25th - International Ataxia Awareness Day 2019
International Ataxia Awareness Day 2019

Every year International Ataxia Awareness Day (IAAD) is observed on September 25th. It is a synchronized effort from individuals and Ataxia organizations around the globe to assist shed light on this rare illness.

International Ataxia Awareness Day (IAAD) is a very vital day for everyone to raise awareness about ataxia ailment and to raise funds for its medical research.

What is Ataxia?

Ataxia is a degenerative ailment of the nervous system. Many symptoms of Ataxia mimic those of being drunk, such as slurred speech, stumbling, falling, and incoordination. These symptoms are caused by damage to the cerebellum, the part of the brain that is responsible for coordinating movement. Ataxia treatment involves a combination of medication to treat symptoms and therapy to improve quality of life.

People affected by Ataxia may experience problems with using their fingers and hands, arms, legs, walking, speaking or moving their eyes. Ataxia affects people of all ages. The symptom-onset related to this disease can vary widely, from childhood to late-adulthood. Complications from the disease are serious and oftentimes debilitating. Some types of Ataxia can lead to an early death.

Symptoms

Generally, ataxia symptoms vary from person to person and type of Ataxia disorder. The rate of progression varies as well. Symptoms related to this ataxia disease may worsen slowly, over decades – or quickly, over mere months. Common symptoms of Ataxia are:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Trouble eating and swallowing
  • Deterioration of fine motor skills
  • Difficulty walking
  • Gait abnormalities
  • Eye movement abnormalities
  • Tremors
  • Heart problems

ataxia symptoms

Individuals with Ataxia illness often require the use of wheelchairs, walkers, and/or scooters to aid in their mobility.

Raising Awareness

There are many ways to spread a word about ataxia, such as through talking to our neighbors; holding an information booth in a shopping center, publishing an article in a local community newspaper, giving conferences in places like schools and hospitals, or, simply wearing Ataxia t-shirt, cap or bracelets.

Post on Social Media

An easy way to help with Ataxia awareness is by using social media. You can share your personal story or information related to Ataxia to help with the awareness efforts. NAF’s IAAD campaign kit offers social media post ideas and images. Follow NAF on Facebook and Twitter to share our IAAD messages. Even you can use the #IAAD19 tag for your social media platform posts to assist the International Ataxia Awareness Day trend on social media so that it can reach out to the maximum number of people.