We can help in the diagnosis and management of people with the wide range of conditions that cause cerebellar ataxia.
What we do
Cerebellar Ataxia is not a disease or a diagnosis, it describes a difficulty with coordination. There are many diseases that can cause cerebellar ataxia and we help to investigate what could be causing your ataxia.
In addition to assessing and managing cerebellar ataxia, this clinic also has a research focus, broadly aimed at improving the assessment and management of cerebellar disease. Several research projects are currently in progress.
The clinic is supported by allied health staff (physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists etc) from the Alfred Health Community Rehabilitation Program.
A volunteer for the Spinocerebellar Ataxia Association Australia (SCAA), a support group that aims to assist people with ataxia through meetings, events and information, is also available during clinics.
Patients often have a range of questions that may include some of the following:
- What causes cerebellar ataxia?
- Do I need more tests?
- Will my condition get worse?
- Is it safe for me to drive a car?
- Is there any treatment for cerebellar ataxia?
- Will my children or grandchildren get this?
- Is it ok to feel sad or angry or both? How do I cope?
The answers tend to depend on the individual’s cause of cerebellar ataxia and their circumstances. We are happy to address your questions in the clinic appointment.
Who we care for
- patients who have a suspected diagnosis which causes cerebellar ataxia, and
- the ongoing care of those who have already been diagnosed with cerebellar ataxia
What to expect
It is recommended that you allow at least two hours for your first appointment.
Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow time to complete all the necessary paperwork. In the clinic you will meet a clerk, who will verify your details and ensure that all the necessary paperwork is complete. You will then see a medical specialist, who will ask further questions about your condition and carry out a medical examination.
Some of the assessments that may be carried out during this consultation include:
- an eye movement assessment using video goggles
- an assessment of the coordination of your arms and legs
- a balance and walking assessment
As part of your attendance at the clinic you will also see a physiotherapist who is experienced in helping people with neurological conditions. You may also be recommended to have further assessment by one of our allied health team members (eg a speech pathologist or occupational therapist). If further ongoing services are required we will usually support you to access services in your local community.
How to access this clinic
Referral from your GP
You need a referral letter from your GP or medical practitioner to access this service.
Your doctor will need to fax your referral letter to us. We will be in contact with you in clinically recommended times, depending on waiting list length. If there is no waiting list, you will receive an appointment booking letter or we will contact you to arrange a suitable time.
What to bring
Every time you come
- Medicare card
- Health Care Card and/or concession card (if you have one)
- Private health insurance card (if applicable/if you want to use it)
- Adverse drug alert card (if you have one)
- Previous x-ray films, scans, ultrasounds or any other test results or reports
- Medicines you need to take while you are here
- List of medicines you are currently taking (or the boxes), including medicines you have bought without a prescription, such as herbal supplements and vitamins
- Glasses, hearing aid, walking frame
For a clinic appointment
- Your appointment letter
- Any special items listed on your letter
- TAC or Workcover claim number (if relevant)
|Friday||Caulfield Hospital||Morning, alternate weeks|
- Dr David Szmulewicz : Neurologist and Neuro-otologist