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Cerebellar ataxia may occur because of a blockage in an artery that supplies blood to the cerebellum or to the connections of the cerebellum. The blockage of an artery results in damage of the cerebellar tissue in the area supplied by that particular artery. These infarcts or strokes are easily and readily seen on a magnetic resonance image (MRI) of the brain. Another type of stroke is a bleed, in which an artery or a vein ruptures, causing an area of blood collection and damage of tissue. A bleed is seen readily on computed tomography (CT) scan or MRI.

Cerebellar ataxia from strokes occurs abruptly and is often associated with other symptoms such as eye, arm, or leg paralysis or loss of sensation on the face or the body. Cerebellar ataxia from strokes may also be confined to one side of the body. The ataxia symptoms may improve to some extent in few weeks after the stroke. Rarely, a stroke in a particular part of the brain stem may result in ataxia that is of delayed onset, occurring several weeks or even several months after the stroke. In this case, the ataxia may actually progress. These types of ataxia can also be detected with brain imaging. The main management of a stroke involves preventing further strokes by using blood thinners such as aspirin when appropriate.

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