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What is the Difference Between Hereditary

Dominant Ataxia and Recessive Ataxia?


It is important that we understand the distinction between hereditary dominant ataxia and recessive ataxia (like Friedreich’s Ataxia). Here is a little information to help us understand this distinction.


Dominant Ataxia

ATAXIA when hereditary is passed directly from afflicted parent to child. Each child faces 50-50 odds of inheriting a dominant ataxia and being able to pass the gene mutation on to the next generation. If the child does not develop ataxia, he or she will not be able to pass the gene mutation on to the next generation. Symptoms for the dominant Ataxias may appear at any age, most commonly in the 20’s and 30’s.


Recessive Ataxia

ATAXIA when recessive will appear only if the child receives the defective gene from both parents. The parents are called carriers and are not affected. Each child of these parents faces a 25% chance of having a recessive ataxia, and a 50% chance of being a carrier without showing any symptoms, and a 25% chance of being neither victim or carrier. Symptoms usually appear in the teenage years.


The most common recessive ataxia is Friedreich’s Ataxia. Dominant Ataxias are relatively rare although more victims of these disorders are being found these days due to the development of sophisticated DNA testing. Hereditary Ataxia is most commonly misdiagnosed at Multiple Sclerosis.

How is Hereditary Ataxia passed on in the family?

What are the signs and symptoms of Ataxia?

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