ataxia (ətăkˈsēə) [key], lack of coordination of the voluntary muscles resulting in irregular movements of the body. Ataxia can be brought on by an injury, infection, or degenerative disease of the central nervous system, e.g., syphilis, encephalitis, brain tumor, or multiple sclerosis. The term also designates a specific type of cerebral palsy.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.