Patient discussion about ataxia

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Q. Can I inherit ataxia to my children?

I have Ataxia. Does this mean that all my kids will have it too?
AThe hereditary ataxias are genetic, which means they are caused by a defect in a certain gene that is present from the start of a person's life. There are both dominant and recessive ataxias. If it's a dominant ataxia then each child of a parent with an autosomal dominant ataxia gene has a 50/50 chance of whether they will inherit the ataxia gene or not. If it's recessive then it takes a "double dose" of the ataxia gene to result in disease symptoms. Both parents must be carriers of the disease gene in order for it to pass on. Each child of parents who are both carriers of a recessive disease has a 25% chance of inheriting two ataxia genes so will develop the disease, a 50% chance of inheriting just one of the ataxia genes and, therefore, be a carrier and a 25% chance of inheriting no ataxia gene and be completely free of ataxia.
Therefore, it depends which ataxia gene you have, if it's dominant or recessive and whether your spouse is a carrier too.
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