ADCA means Autosomal Dominant Cerebellar Ataxia. It is a rare inherited form of ataxia, caused by damage to the little brains / Cerebellum: involved in movement and in maintaining balance). Such a damage may also result from, for example, traumatic brain injury or stroke.
In the case of ADCA, the damage is caused by a hereditary disease. In the little brains a number of cells do not function because they die or shrink (atrophy). Because it is a hereditary disease it occurs in some families a lot. The course is progressive and until now there are no drugs or treatments that can stop or cure the disease.
A large number of clinically-defined group of conditions has been identified or localized. The genetically known types are referred to as SCA (spinocerebellar ataxia). The various SCA have many clinical similarities. Within one type SCA clinical manifestations can vary greatly. SCA's occur around the world. There are a number of SCA types in which notable differences in the occurrence per country is described. Besides these differences SCA seems to be less frequent among black people.
The first symptoms of the disease usually occur between the 30th and the 50th year of life. The symptoms may vary individually. It usually starts with an uncertain motion and increasing uncertainty in moving the limbs. There are often disturbances in speech. Trembling, chewing and swallowing problems, disorders of the eye movements and vision problems also occur. Most people suffering ADCA do not have behavioral or personality changes.
Speech therapy, physical therapy or occupational therapy can relieve some consequences. Painkillers ease any pain, and certain medications fight the uncontrolled trembling. There is no cure for ADCA.