Hereditary Ataxias are a group of genetic disorders that affect muscle control during voluntary movements, such as walking and hand, speech, and eye movements. Usually ataxia means that there is damage to the part of the brain that controls muscle coordination. Hereditary ataxias can develop over time or come on suddenly. The typical symptoms of ataxia are: poor coordination, unsteady walking, difficulty with fine motor tasks, change in speech, involuntary eye movements, and difficulty swallowing. To diagnose ataxia a physician will conduct a physical and neurological exam. Genetic tests may be used to further identify ataxia as hereditary ataxia. There is no treatment specifically for hereditary ataxia, although adaptive devices like canes or walkers may be beneficial. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy can also help manage the symptoms of ataxia.