The word ataxia in medicine frequently is used to signify not only difficulty walking but also difficulty walking specifically due to cerebellar dysfunction. However, although gait and cerebellar disorders can overlap, they are not synonymous. The purpose of this review is to illustrate how children with difficulty walking present, which includes, but is not limited to, patients with cerebellar disorders. In addition, the goal is to illustrate both the more common and the more urgent causes of acute ataxia in children.

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Acute ataxia is fairly common in children. The most common cause, acute cerebellar ataxia (ACA), is estimated to occur in 1 in 100,000 children. (5) The causes of acute ataxia in children are typically benign but at times can represent serious illness. The comprehensive range of potential causes is broad, but typical causes are few and have changed...

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