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Some of the important clinical features of hereditary ataxia are summarized as follows by Sanger Brown:
Hereditary ataxia is a disease which may be traced through several—at least four—generations, increasing in extent and intensity as it descends, tending to occur earlier in life and to advance more rapidly. It usually attacks several members of the same family. It occurs most frequently between the ages of sixteen and thirty-five, but it may begin as early as eleven and as late as forty-two. It shows no marked preference for sex, but it descends through females four times as frequently as through males.... There is always considerable inco-ordination of all the voluntary muscles, and a sluggishness of the movements they produce, when the disease is well advanced. This is usually noticed first in the muscles of the legs, but in a few months or years it extends....
The anatomic changes in a disease
THE BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD IN HEREDITARY ATAXIA.. JAMA. 1904;XLII(18):1148-1149. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02490630034013