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Fine Motor Skills / Ataxia / Dysautonomia Connection ?

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#1 Dizzysillyak

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:13 AM

Anyone else have ataxia and problems with fine motor skills ? I read that both of these activities
are controlled in the cerebellum.

My ataxia is gone but writing or chopping veggies makes my brain feel like it's slogging thru mud.
It's the same feeling I get when I've been up too long and am forced to read something. Like Reading
labels at the store ..

I think it may actually be getting better but not by much .. I'm not sure if laying down while doing these would help or not. Maybe standing on my head would tho ..

For years after coming down with me/cfs/oi I had to take diamox from headaches.

#2 Elfie

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 11:12 AM

I wasn't being taken seriously about persistent dizziness and "issues" when standing (and even sitting, or lysing down depending on circumstances). However, on of the things that I was able to drive home seems exactly like what you are describing . . .

I was constantly cutting and burning myself while trying to do food prep/cooking. Chopping veggies was a nightmare.

After years of doing my own eyebrows, I find it almost impossible to pluck them (fine motor skills, spacial perception) unless I haven't done any standing or are otherwise having a "good day."

Taking notes can be difficult, or writing--- I have to repeat things to myself like a kid because it feels like I am writing so slowly.

Reading when standing is not good for me--- then again, I forgot my birthday and tried to use a screen as a credit card machine after waiting in line for the pharmacy the other day.

#3 Dizzysillyak

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 12:31 PM

Sadly I can relate to not being able to doing my eyebrows. I keep my nails super short
because I cut them with clippers by feel .. . It's like my brain / eye connection just isn't there sometimes.

I crack up when someone tells me that I need to play scrabble, etc to keep my brain working. They
have no idea how hard my brain is working just to take care of myself ..

I started the dr wahls diet about a month ago and I'm hoping it will help. Food makes a big difference
in my symptoms so I'm hoping it does. I'm being cautiously optomistic .. I'm not sure what else I should do.

I was hoping someone would know if dysautonomia can be related to cerebellum damage .. I saw
dizziness listed but not oh or pots.

Tc .. D

#4 ~Naomi~

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 02:44 PM

Yes, I feel my fine motor skills are affected - because of sensory issues. I'm constantly dropping things because I don't totally feel my hands. I can also relate to the eye/brain connection problem.

#5 dizzyblonde

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:28 PM

Yes! I've been wanting to ask this same question! I've been kind of concerned because even though I've had these problems for about a year, they've gotten a lot worse recently. Anything that involves moving my fingers with any sort of precision has gotten very difficult for me. I asked my cardio dr. if this could be due to dysautonomia and lack of blood flow, and he said he thought it could be. Still, I worry that it's something more to do with my nervous system. I had some nerve tests this past summer, and some of my nerves were "slow" (whatever that means) but the test was inconclusive otherwise (sigh). It would just be nice to know what's going on with my body for once and know what to do to treat it.

#6 Dizzysillyak

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:31 PM

Sorry to hear you're doing this too.

I forgot to ask .. Did your dysautonomia start with an illness, like a virus or bacteria ?
I just wonder if something damaged our brains .. I "think" that could be why I react neurologically
to gluten. This all started with a bug .. I "think" it caused encephalitis.

I drop things a lot too. I quit using any kind of straight container for my drinks because my hand might let go of it.
I hadn't thought about having sensory issues. Thanks, I'll google that.

Tc .. D

#7 ramakentesh

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 05:51 PM

Ofcourse, since the autonomic system and its function is governed by the brain stem it is more than possible there is a cerebral problem. Many CFS patients in particular seem to have excessive cerebral excitation. There is work in this area right now that is showing some interesting findings. Abnormal proteins in CNS fluid, NMDA receptor abnormalities, etc.

#8 ramakentesh

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 05:52 PM

Alternatively there could be other reasons for subjective symptoms of ataxia - acetylcholine receptor antibodies have been reported in POTS and M.gravis - perhaps they play a role?

#9 ~Naomi~

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 06:46 PM

I feel something is wrong with my brain too. And I'm not sure I buy the -less blood flow to the brain- explanation. It might be part of the problem, but I think there's more to it.

Many CFS patients in particular seem to have excessive cerebral excitation. There is work in this area right now that is showing some interesting findings. Abnormal proteins in CNS fluid


Wish they would report specifically what abnormalities they found in CFS patients' spinal fluid. All they said was they found differences between Lyme, CFS and controls ... well WHAT were the differences? Do you know Rama?

#10 ramakentesh

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:17 PM

There is some articles on pheonix rising abiout that.

#11 ~Naomi~

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 08:04 PM

Ok, I don't recall seeing any specifics, but will take a look.

#12 Katybug

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 08:36 PM

Yes, writing and cutting up food are challenges for me now (and doing my eye makeup). I also tried to trim my mom's hair (I was sitting on a stool) and that was difficult too. My hands shake with all three activities. Also, during writing, I will sometimes have to stop and really make a very conscious, concerted effort to make my hand write what my brain is thinking (like half way through signing my name, my hand will not be able to keep going and its like I have to literally use all my will power to finish my name) and I also have started to experience nystagmus (involuntary back and forth eye movements) when I write more than 3-4 words. I also have issues occassionally with things falling out of my grip...my hand doesn't open up but I will drop because I am not holding the item tight enough (paper, coffee mug). It feels like a fine motor skill issue when it happens. The neuros have tested me extensively and can't find anything neuro wrong with me (other than POTS that is.)

#13 ramakentesh

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 08:50 PM

the doctor involved has a surname that is long and starts with B. Sorry I cant recall it and my internet is not working well so I cant search it for you.

its quite possible dysautonomia is a reflection of cerebral abnormalities. There is as yet very little research on the topic other than increased cerebral lactate levels in POTS/CFS (pateints with both CFS and POTS). Increased lactate is a marker for reduced mitocondrial metabolism perhaps due to abnormal antioxidant activity or cerebral hypoxia (from abnormal cerebral blood flow regulation as found in POTS).

Something Ive often pondered is why CFS / POTS patients get CNS (central nervous system) reactions and symptoms to medications that are not supposed to be able to cross the blood brain barrier? Does something in the POTS paradigm - particularly in those with more sympathoexcitation comprimise the blood brain barrier? i was suprised to find out that docs have already thought of this and may be proceeding in that direction.

#14 ~Naomi~

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:09 PM

Katie - yes, you describe it perfectly.

Rama- feels like there is no barrier between blood and brain. I can't take anything without immediately feeling it in my head. :wacko:

#15 issie

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:52 PM



its quite possible dysautonomia is a reflection of cerebral abnormalities. There is as yet very little research on the topic other than increased cerebral lactate levels in POTS/CFS (pateints with both CFS and POTS). Increased lactate is a marker for reduced mitocondrial metabolism perhaps due to abnormal antioxidant activity or cerebral hypoxia (from abnormal cerebral blood flow regulation as found in POTS).

Something Ive often pondered is why CFS / POTS patients get CNS (central nervous system) reactions and symptoms to medications that are not supposed to be able to cross the blood brain barrier? Does something in the POTS paradigm - particularly in those with more sympathoexcitation comprimise the blood brain barrier? i was suprised to find out that docs have already thought of this and may be proceeding in that direction.


Interesting, I've just recently started taking something to help my mitochondrial function and it is supposed to help neurotransmission. It along with two other new things (all are alternative supplements) and I'm starting to feel wonderful. I want to test it out a little more - before I tell what it is. I have more energy and feel happy and like I'm on top of the world. I hope it continues to work this way. Too soon to say.

Yeah, those paradox reactions are horrible. It seems that's my response more than not. Everything seems to affect me emotionally and do the opposite of what it's supposed to do.

Issie