The Best Foods To Grow Thick And Healthy Hair
Most of us have suffered from common hair problems like hair fall, dull hair, hair breakage, and less hair growth. But during current times, this problem has increased multiple folds due to COVID hair loss, which is the commonly known side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the thickness and health of hair depend on various factors, including sex, genetics, and age. Good nutrition is the factor that you can control in order to have shiny, strong, and thick hair on your scalp. List of Food for Hair Growth If you are wondering which food should be included in your diet for hair growth, search no more, as we have enlisted some commonly available food options to get healthy and thick hair. Eggs Green Leafy Vegetables Vitamin C-Rich Citrus Fruits Seeds and Nuts Carrots Whole Grain Soybeans Avocado Cinnamon 1. Eggs Eggs contain various proteins that boost collagen production. Increased collagen synthesis improves the strength and thickness of hair. They also contain biotin, an essential part of the hair and its intake enhances hair growth. Eggs also contain iron that improves circulation and provides strength to hair strands. Other vital nutrients in eggs that are beneficial for hair include zinc, vitamin A, vitamin D, and lutein. Due to these benefits, eggs are considered one of the best food for hair growth. 2. Green Leafy Vegetables Green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamins A, C, carotene, folate, and potassium. The green leafy vegetables also provide keratin in the body, strengthening hair follicles. Green leafy vegetables are a rich source of iron, an essential mineral in the body that carries oxygen and nutrients. Due to low levels of iron, hair follicles do not get enough nutrients, which hampers hair growth and weakens hair strands. Thus, increasing the intake of iron can improve the health of hair considerably. Iron also helps to produce sebum that keeps the scalp healthy and hydrated. 3. Vitamin C-Rich Citrus Fruits Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits are a rich source of vitamin C. Berries are also a rich source of Vitamin C and collagen that strengthens the hair. Vitamin C boosts collagen production and improves scalp circulation. Vitamin C protects hair follicles from the oxidative damage of free radicals. It also aids in iron absorption, which improves scalp blood circulation, improves hair growth, and gives appropriate nutrition. These factors enhance hair growth and make hair healthy and thick. Hence, Vitamin C-rich citrus fruits and berries are some of the best food for hair growth and thickness. 4. Seeds and Nuts Nuts, including almonds, walnut seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flax seeds, carry numerous health benefits for hair. They contain a high amount of Omega-3 fatty acids, which increase the thickness of hair by keeping it hydrated and making it strong. Nuts and seeds also contain zinc, promoting hair health by increasing cell reproduction and improving immunity. Additional nutrients in seeds and nuts beneficial for hair include phosphorus, magnesium, iron, copper, and selenium. Hence, nuts and seeds are good food for hair growth and thickness. 5. Carrots Carrots are a rich source of vitamin A, which has numerous benefits for your hair. Vitamin A is essential for the growth of body cells, including hair. This makes it a perfect food for hair growth faster. It also enhances sebum production in the scalp, which keeps the hair hydrated and healthy. Carrots are also known to improve blood circulation in the head and prevent premature greying of hair. 6. Whole Grain Whole grains contain biotin, iron, zinc, and vitamin B. Biotin is an essential part of amino acids that are building blocks of the body. Hence, biotin promotes hair growth and makes them healthy and thick. You can also incorporate fortified whole grains into your diet as they are a rich source of iron. Maintaining optimal levels of iron in the body improves circulation in hair follicles and helps to attain healthy and thick hair. 7. Soybeans Soybeans are a rich source of vitamin B2, magnesium, and iron. Soybeans also inhibit the synthesis of dihydrotestosterone, which is known to cause damage to the hair. Soybean is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids and contains manganese and vitamins, making dry and damaged hair healthy, shiny and strong. Hence, soybeans and their derivatives are good food for hair growth and thickness. 8. Avocado Avocados contain a high amount of Vitamin E that protects the hair follicles from oxidative damage. Each hair follicle has its own blood supply and supports the growth of your hair. Improvement in the blood circulation of the hair follicles can enhance hair growth. Along with Vitamin E, avocados also contain potassium, Vitamin B, and folic acid, improving hair growth and thickness. Avocado maintains the pH balance and oil levels of the scalp that prevent clogging of hair follicles and keeps hair healthy and strong. 9. Cinnamon This spice can do miracles for your hair. It not only stimulates hair growth but also improves the texture and appearance of hair. Polyphenols in cinnamon act as natural antioxidants and have antimicrobial properties that protect the scalp from infections and dandruff. But sometimes, highly concentrated cinnamon oil can cause allergies. It is advisable to do a patch test before using cinnamon. Riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C in cinnamon also enhance the health of your hair. Conclusion In short, if you want to get thick and healthy hair, increase your intake of antioxidant flavonoids, which help to enhance the strength of hair follicles. The nutrient-rich foods in your diet can improve the health and thickness of your hair. Including iron-rich sources in the diet helps improve blood circulation, which improves the delivery of nutrients to hair follicles. Protein-rich foods also make hair healthy and thick. Some essential nutrients like biotin, iron, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C can make a lot of difference and do magic on your hair strands.
How to Get Tested for Food Allergies?
Food allergy is quite a common condition today, with increasingly changing physiology and alterations to food patterns. Although it is easily confused with food poisoning, intolerance, or sensitivity, an allergy to certain foods is primarily a response of the body's immune system to certain compounds in the food. Although often mild, food allergies can have severe health impacts if necessary eliminations are not made in one's diet. Food Allergy Tests The tests that are commonly conducted to diagnose food allergies include the following: 1. Skin Prick Testing Skin pricking is a sensitive method of food allergy test that brings fast results, almost within half an hour of testing. A sterile probe is used to prick the back or front of your arm's skin, which is then induced with a small amount of the possible allergenic food compound. Although the test may not cause pain, it can surely be uncomfortable. The allergy diagnosis is considered positive if an allergic patch develops on the skin. In the event that no such patch surfaces, the test results are considered negative. The test, however, does not reveal the intensity of the allergy. 2. Blood testing Another effective way to diagnose if you have a food allergy is through blood testing. Under this test condition, the diagnosis is based on the total number of allergic antibodies that your blood may contain. 3. Oral food challenge Another successful food allergy test is the oral food challenge; although a costly one, it helps diagnose the presence of an allergy with close accuracy. The test involves you eating increasing amounts of the allergic food under clinical supervision to check for the presence of an allergy and how impactful it is if any. Below are some other food allergy test names to remember when diagnosing your allergy. Analysis of the hair follicles and the scalp Vega testing Alternative blood tests Kinesiology testing Why Should You Take a Food Allergy Test? If eating a particular food item makes you sick every time, you probably have an allergy to it. Taking a food allergy test is ideal if you have observed your body getting unwell after consuming a particular food. Taking a food allergy test requires an assessment of multiple aspects. Several risk factors related to your physiology can prompt taking the test. Here are some reasons that can make you go for the test. Individual symptoms: Individual allergies are the first and foremost prompt that requires you to take the test. Convey the symptoms to your doctor and share the types of food and their consumption amounts that may trigger the allergy. Family history: Another common reason that may lead to the allergy test involves a history of allergies to particular foods in your family. Asthma-prone physiology: If you suffer from asthma or a likely health condition, the chances of having a food allergy are higher for you than for others, which should prompt you to get tested for the common types. Other allergy types: If your body responds to other allergy types like pollen or dust allergies, your chances of carrying a food allergy increase too. As such, checking out a "food allergy test near me" centre is aptly called for. Common Food Allergy Symptoms to Look Out For The food allergy type, its intensity, and the body's response depends on your physiology. However, a handful of common symptoms have been identified that may indicate your allergy to particular food items. Here's a list of symptoms typically observed in individuals suffering from allergies: Swelling in the face, tongue, lips, or throat Excessive watering of the eyes Tingles or itches in the mouth Stuffed nose Trouble breathing and heavy wheezing Development of skin conditions such as rashes and hives Excessive itching on the skin Simultaneous vomiting, diarrhoea, and pain in the stomach or individual symptoms Frequent dizziness In the case of allergic anaphylaxis, you may also experience increased pulsation and blood pressure drop, along with swelling in the throat and constricted breathing. Which Food Allergy Test Should You Undergo? The type of food allergy test that you may need to undertake varies depending on the severity of the condition. If the allergy symptoms pick up slowly in your body, the immediate clinical suggestion is to put the individual on a diet based on food elimination. If the allergy symptoms pick up quickly, the doctor suggests you undergo IgE food allergy tests. Let's find out what tests are involved that can help diagnose a food allergy. But before that, here's a look at what your food elimination diet would comprise for mild allergy symptoms. Things to Follow in a Food Elimination Diet Under a food elimination diet plan aimed at reducing allergy symptoms, the dietician may list a bunch of food items that may cause recurring allergies. The plan remains to eliminate such foods from your diet and observe if it helps reduce the symptoms or not. Technically, it is a trial-and-error method of identifying which foods cause the most allergies and which have low impacts on the body. Some common aspects that you must consider when maintaining a food-elimination diet include the following: The list of food items to be avoided for identification of an allergy One must know how to read and interpret food labels to understand their composition Check for alternative food options to get the correct nutritional values The extent of diet continuation is based on the severity of the allergy symptoms It is suggested that you do not try out the food elimination diet without the supervision of a professional, as it may lead to nutritional disbalance in the body and may fail to identify the cause of an allergy. Conclusion Once you are all set to get yourself tested for the condition, it's time to book your food allergy test with Metropolis Healthcare. It is best to check out the cost of food allergy tests in your city as it may change from one location to another. Once you have checked the food allergy test price, you may proceed to get your bookings finalized and get a screening appointment. You must prepare yourself with a few useful questions like how long the allergy lasts, what the symptoms involved include, and other relevant aspects while booking a food allergy test.
Double Marker Test: What it is and What Happens During it?
When you’re in the last trimester of your pregnancy, a million questions must pop up about the foetus. And while the gender of your unborn child and other intricate details regarding your pregnancy will remain a mystery, when it concerns your OB-GYN, they may conduct tests to help you prepare for the arrival of your little bundle of joy. The double marker pregnancy test involves taking a sample of your blood for further analysis to help detect abnormalities in the foetus. Double Marker Test in Pregnancy The first-trimester screening includes the double marker test, often known as maternal serum screening. While it does not constitute a conclusive scientific examination, it can report the likelihood of chromosomal abnormalities. This test is predictive rather than diagnostic. The levels of beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (beta-hCG) and pregnancy-associated plasma protein A (PAPP-A) in the blood are measured (PAPP-A). Feminine foetuses, on average, have 22 pairs of XX chromosomes, whereas male foetuses have 22 pairs of XY chromosomes. Trisomy is one of the many chromosomal abnormalities resulting from having an additional set of chromosomes. Having an extra copy of chromosome 21 causes Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21. Another common chromosomal abnormality includes having an extra copy of either chromosome 18 (which causes Edward's syndrome) or chromosome 13 (which causes Patau's syndrome). There is some evidence that hCG and PAPP-A levels are atypical in chromosomally-defective pregnancies. Blood levels are only part of the equation, though. Nuchal translucency (NT) scans are ultrasounds that look at the transparent tissue at the back of your baby's neck instead of just the blood. When Is the Double Marker Test in Pregnancy Required? This test is often recommended during the first trimester to prevent difficulties before or after delivery. Beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (free beta-hCG) and pregnancy-related proteins are measured in the blood throughout the screening process (PAPP-A). The window of opportunity for such screening is typically narrow. The doctor or nurse on call may know best. The surgery is typically performed between the 11th and 14th week of pregnancy. Why is a Double Marker Test in Pregnancy Conducted? Screening with a double marker test and an NT scan in the first trimester is recommended but not required. However, suppose you're over 35 or have a potentially heightened risk of chromosomal abnormalities, such as a family history of specific disorders. In that case, you should consider getting screened. Remember that this result can only tell you if you're at a higher risk for trisomies, not why. Your baby's abnormality status won't be determined with any certainty. When you decide whether or not to have a double marker test, it's important to consider what the outcomes may imply for you down the road. What if the results are higher than normal? Would you be prepared to get tested more thoroughly? If you knew about potential irregularities, how would that make you feel? When it comes to pregnancy care, would your approach change based on the findings? There are no definitively correct responses to your inquiries because they depend entirely on your circumstances and medical history. How Is a Double Marker Test in Pregnancy Conducted? A blood sample and an ultra-sound examination constitute a double marker test. The free beta hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) and PAPP-A are the two markers analysed in the double marker test (pregnancy-associated plasma protein A). The placenta secretes a glycoprotein hormone called free beta-hCG in pregnant women. A high value is associated with an increased risk of trisomy 18 and Down syndrome. PAPP-A plasma protein is a crucial component of the body. A high risk of Down syndrome is associated with low plasma protein levels. The test results are screened as positive, high-risk, and negative. What is the Cost of a Double Marker Test in India? The cost of a double marker test will vary based on factors such as your location and health insurance. Although you're under no obligation to take this test, your health insurance plan could pay for it if you do. Contact your insurance company to learn more about your coverage and pre-authorization requirements. If you do not have health insurance, you may still find out about the price and any available payment options or rebates by calling the hospital or laboratory directly. You'll need to pay for this and the NT scan if you want a thorough first-trimester screening, as they are typically performed together. Double marker test prices range between Rs. 2,500 and Rs. 3,500, depending on where you live and which hospital you choose. What to Expect in Test Results? A basic blood test is required for the double marker test. The lab will need the order that your doctor has written for you. Unless otherwise indicated, you can eat and drink normally before your visit because this is not a fasting test. Turnaround times in laboratories might vary. The typical turnaround time for test results is between 3 and 7 days. You might want to find out if the clinic will call you with the findings or if you need to contact them directly. Frequently Asked Questions Q: What if The Double Marker Test is Positive? A: The likelihood of a kid having any given condition may be estimated using these ratios. Suppose the double marker test turns out to be positive. In that case, the doctor may suggest performing additional diagnostic procedures such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus collection to determine the source of the issue. Q: What is Considered a Normal Range for a Double Marker Test in Pregnancy? A: A normal range is 25,700 to 2,88,000 mIU per mL on a double marker test. Q: How Accurate is a Dual Marker Test? A: A dual marker test is just preparatory. Just about half of normal sensitivity is required. In half of the cases, the test may provide an inaccurate result. An amniocentesis test will be needed for confirmation.
Dehydration - Symptoms, Causes, Risk and Prevention
Body dehydration symptoms occur when you lose more fluid than you take in. In such cases, the body doesn't have enough water to carry out its functions normally. This necessitates that you replace the loss of fluids to control or prevent dehydration. And while any normal and healthy human being can become dehydrated, young children and older adults are at a higher risk. What are Dehydration Symptoms? Some may think that feeling excessively thirsty may be one of the first signs of dehydration. But it is not necessarily so. Many people don't even feel thirsty until after becoming dehydrated. This is why they say that you need to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated, especially during extremely hot weather. Dehydration Symptoms by Age Children experience more severe dehydration symptoms than adults. Some of the most common dehydration symptoms in children include: Mouth or tongue dryness Drying up of tears In infants, no wet diapers for as long as 3 hours Sunken cheeks Irritability Soft spot on top of the skull Sunken eyes In adults, the dehydration symptoms are as follows: Feeling extremely thirsty Seldom urination Dark urine Fatigue Feeling dizzy Disorientation It is advisable to see a doctor if you have been suffering from diarrhoea for more than 24 hours and are unable to retain fluids in your body. Causes of Dehydration Many a time, dehydration may occur for very simple reasons, like not drinking enough water. But there are other more serious causes that may result in dehydration symptoms. These are as follows: Diarrhoea: Sudden onset of severe and acute diarrhoea can result in severe fluid loss, including water and electrolytes, in a very short span of time. On top of this, if you are also vomiting, then it means more loss of fluids and minerals. This is bound to lead to dehydration. Fever: High fever is usually accompanied by dehydration. If you are also vomiting and suffering from diarrhoea along with the fever, then the problem of dehydration might worsen. Profuse sweating: Sweating is another way in which the body loses water along with ejecting toxins. If you are sweating too much and not drinking enough water to replace the lost fluid, then you might get dehydrated. This is hastened in very hot and humid weather. Excessive urination: Uncontrolled or undiagnosed diabetes may lead to an increase in the frequency of urination. This results in a loss of more fluids than the body should eject. Also, there are certain medications, like those used to control blood pressure, that also heighten the frequency of urination, resulting in dehydration. Risk Groups Anyone can start showing dehydration symptoms. But certain groups of people are at a higher risk. Children and Infants This is one category of people that experience severe dehydration symptoms. They are more prone to suffering from diarrhoea and vomiting, which is why the chances of getting dehydrated are higher. The fact that they have a higher surface-to-volume area also results in a higher loss of fluids from fever and burns. Because infants can't communicate clearly when they are thirsty, they spend long hours staying dehydrated. Older Adults With age, the body's fluid reserve shrinks. Your sense of thirst and ability to conserve water in your body also goes down. The problem heightens if you suffer from chronic illnesses like dementia or diabetes, or if you are on certain medications that cause body dehydration symptoms. In some elderly adults, mobility also becomes restricted, which means they can't get up and fetch water for themselves whenever they like. Chronically ill Adults People with undiagnosed or uncontrolled diabetes are at a very high risk of being dehydrated. Kidney diseases can also increase this risk. If your kidneys are affected, chances are that you will not have the urge to eat or drink, which has a direct impact on the fluid content in your body. People Exposed to Heat People who work outside in very hot and humid conditions can get severely sick and become dehydrated very quickly. The humidity in the air doesn't allow the sweat to evaporate and the body to cool down quickly. This results in an increased body temperature, which demands more fluids stored in the body. Prevention of Dehydration Dehydration symptoms are very much treatable and controllable. You can easily prevent becoming dehydrated by drinking plenty of water and fluids and consuming foods rich in water content. A few simple things you can do in addition to drinking water are as follows: Be aware of the symptoms of dehydration and pay attention to them. Drink water regularly, ideally before you start feeling thirsty. If you exert yourself too much physically, like during a workout, make sure to drink the right amount of fluids before, during, and after exercise. Keep checking the colour of your urine when you feel like you might be experiencing body dehydration symptoms. Don't limit your water intake during the day; the bodily fluid requirements vary from one person to another, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Increase your fluid intake during hot summers and humid weather. Get yourself checked to assess your risk for dehydration. Supplement your diet with water-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. Add electrolyte supplements to your daily routine if you feel the need. If need be, set yourself fixed hours to drink water throughout the day. Remember that dehydration symptoms may come and go. But if they are not checked and treated, they may result in severe damage to your body.
D-Dimer Blood Test: What Do Elevated Results Mean?
Our body consists of an incredible network of organs, each with a highly specialised function. One of the most important things that keeps these organs working is blood. Be it transporting glucose, oxygen, and other nutrients or flushing out waste products and toxins, the role of blood in vital functioning is undisputed. Therefore, any form of anomaly related to blood can be quite concerning. One such phenomenon is blood clots. A regular blood clot, or hemostasis, is essential for survival, as it prevents blood loss from small injuries. However, unregulated blood clots are something to be taken seriously, and the best way to analyse their presence is with the D-Dimer test. Its definition, requirements, procedure, and results will be examined below. What is a D-Dimer Blood Test? A D-dimer test is a blood test that measures a protein fragment known as a D-dimer, which is a byproduct of blood clotting. A high level of D-dimer in your blood may indicate that you have a blood clotting disorder or that you're at risk for one. However, other factors, such as inflammation, can also cause an elevation in D-dimer levels. D-dimer tests are used to help rule out serious conditions such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). They may also be used to help diagnose and monitor treatment for these conditions. When is a D-Dimer Blood Test Needed? A D-dimer blood test may be needed if a person has symptoms of the above-mentioned conditions: Deep Vein Thrombosis: This is a form of a blood clot that occurs deep within your system. Symptoms may include sudden swelling of arms or legs, redness in the affected region, painful extremities, especially the legs, where the pain is triggered during walking, and clear enlargement of veins on the surface of the skin. Pulmonary Embolism: A form of a blood clot in the lungs that primarily occurs in the arms or legs but travels to the lungs if left unchecked. Symptoms include sharp chest pain, difficulty in drawing breath, back pain, profuse sweating, irregular heartbeat, and dizziness. Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC): In this condition, multiple blood clots occur in the body in a very short time. If left untreated, it can become a very serious situation. Symptoms of DIC include nausea, extreme muscle and abdominal pain, bleeding gums, seizures, and a reduction in urination frequency. Stroke: A form of a blood clot in the brain that occurs when a blood vessel ruptures in the brain. Symptoms include numbness in the face, arms, and legs, especially on one side of the body; difficulty in speaking or forming words; loss of vision; and sudden dizziness. Therefore, if you exhibit any of the above-mentioned symptoms, your doctor will order a D-dimer test to confirm or rule out these conditions. How is a D-Dimer Blood Test Done? A D-dimer blood test procedure involves taking a small sample of blood from a vein in the arm. The blood is then sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results of the test are usually available within a few days, or a few hours if it is a life-threatening situation. From a patient's standpoint, since the test is a regular blood test, you don’t need to prepare in any special way for this test. Just be prepared for a sharp sensation when the needle is injected, and remember to apply pressure to the area once the blood is drawn and the needle is removed. What Do The Results of a D-Dimer Blood Test Mean? The D-dimer test results may turn out to be normal, low, or high. However, there are no specific universal D-dimer levels, so the results are best analysed by a doctor. Here’s a brief look at how to interpret the results of your D-dimer test: If the levels seem normal or low in the test, it is unlikely that you have any form of clotting condition. But if you do have symptoms of clotting, your doctor may consider other tests to confirm or rule out the presence of a clotting disorder. On the other hand, if you do have high levels of D-dimer protein, it is highly likely that you have a blood clotting condition. However, the results of a D-dimer test aren't always cut and dry. As mentioned earlier in the article, in some cases, a high level of D-dimers can be due to factors such as advanced age, pregnancy, cancer, or severe infection. If your doctor suspects you have a clotting disorder, they may order additional tests, such as a CT scan or venography, a special type of X-ray that looks at the veins. How Can The Clots Be Examined Further? After a D-dimer test, your doctor may opt for one of the three imaging tests: Doppler ultrasound: As the name suggests, this technology uses ultrasound to create an image of your blood vessels. Computed tomography angiography (CTA): This is a form of X-ray wherein a special dye is inserted into your bloodstream, which makes it easier to track your organs during imaging. Lung ventilation-perfusion scan: This is a combination of two tests, lung ventilation and lung perfusion. While the former examines the flow of air in your lungs, the latter examines the flow of blood in your lungs. Conclusion In closing, the D-dimer blood test is a useful tool to help diagnose conditions like DVT, but it's not perfect. A positive result on the test may mean that you have a serious blood clot problem, but a negative result doesn't necessarily rule it out either. Either way, the presence of these blood clots can be better determined with advanced imaging techniques in conjunction with the D-dimer test. If you suspect you have a clotting condition and want to get a D-dimer test done urgently, reach out to us at Metropolis Healthcare. With thousands of diagnostic centres across multiple continents, we offer accurate D-dimer tests at affordable prices. For more information on this and other tests and their respective pricing, contact us today.
Spinocerebellar Ataxia: Types, Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment
What is Spinocerebellar Ataxia Spinocerebellar Ataxia (SCA) or Spinocerebellar Degeneration is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects the proper functioning of brain-body coordination and may cause difficulties with walking and performing fine motor movements, swallowing, and weakness in muscles controlling the eye movement. Numerous conditions can cause Cerebellar and Spinocerebellar Degeneration. However, acute injuries or infections and damages affecting the parts of the brain controlling the motor movements (cerebellum) are the significant cause of Spinocerebellar Ataxia. Currently, there is no effective cure or treatment for Spinocerebellar Ataxia. However, not all ataxia types cause equally severe abnormalities. In general, treatments for most Spinocerebellar Ataxia cases involve focusing on relieving the specific symptoms and lowering the progression of ataxia. Types Of Ataxia There are several types of ataxia. Based on their symptoms and their causing factor for developing neurodegenerative conditions, researchers and doctors have classified ataxia into numerous types, some of which are given below. Knowing the types and their unique symptoms can help you and your doctors evaluate and rule out similar disease conditions and determine a proper treatment plan. Ataxia-telangiectasia: Also known as Louis-Bar Syndrome, it is a rare type of early onset inherit ataxia (passed from parents to children) that affects the immune and nervous systems of the body. The symptoms of ataxia-telangiectasia can develop at an early age, usually at 1-5 years of childhood, and its symptoms tend to get worse with time. Friedreich’s ataxia: Friedreich’s ataxia is the most common type of ataxia affecting people worldwide. Although both Friedreich’s ataxia and telangiectasia share many common symptoms and causal factors, the progression and onset period greatly differ. The symptoms of Friedreich's ataxia often appear at a much later stage of childhood (15-20 years of age). Spinocerebellar ataxia: Also known as spinocerebellar atrophy or spinocerebellar degeneration, it is an ataxia that often doesn't show signs until adulthood and its symptoms usually appear between 25 to 80 years of age. Currently, based on their unique genetic abnormalities and pattern of inheritance (passing from parents to children), spinocerebellar ataxias are classified into 36 different types (SCA1 to SCA36). Further, based on their distant characteristics and association with defective genes, the 36 different types of SCA are grouped into the following subtypes: Subtypes of spinocerebellar ataxia Autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia type I - includes syndromes like SCA1-SCA4, SCA8, SCA10, SCA12-SCA23, SCA25, SCA27, and SCA28. Autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia type II - includes SCA7. Autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia type III - includes SCA5, SCA6, SCA11, SCA26, SCA29, SCA30, and SCA 31. Idiopathic late-onset cerebellar ataxia (ILOCA): Also known as Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), it refers to conditions for which the exact cause and medical reason for why a person develops ataxia are not clearly understood and identified. Early Symptoms To Watch Out for Spinocerebellar Ataxia Spinocerebellar Ataxia Symptoms depend largely on the severity and stage of the condition. Some general symptoms of ataxia include Poor/decreasing control in mind-muscle coordination Slurred speech Difficulties in performing day-to-day fine motor activities Headache Dizziness Visual impairment Involuntary rapid eye movements Unsteady/difficulties in walking movements Loss of sensation Possible Causes Behind Spinocerebellar Ataxia Spinocerebellar ataxia happens largely due to defect or damage to the parts of the brain (cerebellum) that controls muscle coordination. Further, defects or mutations in genes responsible for the proper functioning of the nerve cells in the brain can also trigger and lead to spinocerebellar ataxia. Based on the nature of the causing factors, researchers and doctors have categorized ataxia into three major groups, namely, Acquired causes: This includes external factors that cause ataxia. Some potential external causes include Head injury/ trauma Adverse side effects of certain medications Thyroid problems Exposure to infection Cancer or other underactive illness affecting brain function Hereditary causes: The hereditary causes include defects/mutations in genes that lead to abnormal functioning of nerve cells in the brain. Based on their mode of inheritance (passage from parents to children) and certain other characteristics, they are mainly classified into two types, namely Autosomal Recessive: The affected individual gets defective genes from both the parents (mother and father). Ataxia-telangiectasia and Friedreich's ataxia are generally inherited in this way. Autosomal Dominant: The presence of a single copy of a defective gene (either from the mother or father) is enough to cause an ataxia condition. Many cases of spinocerebellar ataxia are inherited in this way. Degenerative causes: Age-related wear and tear on muscles and spinal discs, presence of other underactive illnesses such as high blood pressure, and internal haemorrhage are included under degenerative causes. How Is Spinocerebellar Ataxia Diagnosed? The diagnosis of spinocerebellar ataxia primarily targets evaluating the regions of the affected/ damaged areas of the cerebellum and analysing the type of genetic defect present in the individuals. Some standard diagnostic techniques used include Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan of the brain Non-Invasive Computed Tomography (CT) scan to analyse the shrinkage in the brain Blood test to determine other associated illnesses Modern genetic testing to confirm hereditary related gene defects The DNA tests for Spinocerebellar Ataxia [SCA tests] further help to diagnose and classify the ataxia into various types. What Can Put You At a Risk Of Developing Spinocerebellar Ataxia? Many health conditions and factors can put you at risk of developing ataxia. Some possible risk factors of ataxia include Exposure to viral infections such as coxsackie virus, chicken pox, Epstein-Barr, coronavirus, or Human immune virus (HIV) Bacterial infections such as Lyme disease Vitamin and nutrient deficiencies Alcoholism Overuse of certain medications Presence of underlying blood clots, haemorrhage, or obstruction of a blood vessel What Are The Treatment Options Available For Spinocerebellar Ataxia? Currently, there is no effective or specific treatment for spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA). However, in general, the treatment for SCA usually focuses on alleviating the signs and progression of the condition. Some common treatments and strategies for managing the signs of SCA involve Physiotherapy to improve balance and mobility Speech therapy to improve slurred speech and swallowing problems Medical devices to assist in performing fine motor skills and self-care activities Medication to relieve symptoms such as tremors, depression, stiffness, muscle pain and sleep disorders What Is The Prognosis And Outlook For Individuals With Spinocerebellar Ataxia? Medical advancements and modern technologies are not adequately successful in preventing spinocerebellar ataxia. However, accurate diagnostic technologies are available to identify the defective genes in SCA patients. The next step is to correct those defects using gene therapy technology. The use of gene therapy technology is still in its infancy. However, the future holds promising results and outlook in treating SCA. CTA: Getting a Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 12 (SCA12) DNA test along with other screening methods can increase the odds of early detection. The early detection of spinocerebellar ataxia may lead to better management, positive outcomes and longer survival in the patient.