Difference Between Ataxia and Dysmetria

The brain is the most essential part of the body that is required to control and balance it.


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The brain collects the sensory information and processes them, then transmits the signals to the different parts of the body to make the required movement.

But there are several conditions that can completely destroy this process, for example, Ataxia and Dysmetria.

Ataxia vs Dysmetria

The difference between Ataxia and Dysmetria is that Ataxia is a disease that raises a condition in which the person can not balance his bodily functions. On the other hand, Dysmetria causes a situation in which the person can not figure out simple measurements when making physical movements to do daily stuff.

Ataxia vs Dysmetria

Ataxia is considered to be a condition in which a person loses control over his body, in other words, his body movement becomes misbalanced. The coordination between brain and body gets impaired.

The common reason for this condition can be severe damage to nerves or muscles of the brain that are responsible to transmit the signals.

When a person is afflicted with Dysmetria, he becomes unable to measure the distance when involved in physical or muscular acts. It is considered to be a disease related to the cerebellar because it is the result of cerebral damage.

The symptoms of Dysmetria also include trouble speech, lack of balance, abnormal eye movement, etc.

Comparison Table

Parameters Of ComparisonAtaxiaDysmetria
MeaningA person who’s suffering from Ataxia can not control his body movement since the transmission gets blocked. A person who’s suffering from Dysmetria can calculate simple measurements that are necessary to make physical movements.
TypeAtaxia can be divided into several types and some of them are Sensory ataxia, Cerebellar ataxia, Vestibular ataxia, etc. Dysmetria mainly has only two types that are Hypermetria and Hypometria depending on the overreaching and underreaching.
Caused byThe major causes that are responsible for ataxia are head injuries, cerebral palsy, HIV infection, toxic medication, etc. The major causes that are responsible for Dysmetria are brain tumors, lesions in sensory nerves, damage to the cerebellum, etc.
Tests to DiagnosisThe tests that are used to diagnose ataxia disease are MRI, blood tests, genetic testing, etc. The tests that are used to diagnose ataxia disease are finger to nose test and heel to shin test.
TreatmentWhen a person suffers from ataxia he can get treatment such as physical therapy, speech therapy, medication, etc. No particular treatment is available for Dysmetria but a doctor can suggest occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy.

What is Ataxia?

Ataxia is also known as Impaired coordination since the coordination between body and brain gets interrupted. Patients with ataxia are suggested to get mobility aids to atone the muscle control.

These mobility aids include walkers and canes. The main cause of ataxia can be the damage to the spinal cord or a specific part of the brain known as the cerebellum because both of these work as the connectors of the body and brain.

Also, the injury of some other nerves can be responsible for ataxia.

Ataxia has multiple types depending on the causes and symptoms and some of these are Spinocerebellar ataxias, Ataxia-telangiectasia, Episodic ataxia, ILOCA, vitamin E deficiency ataxia, acquired ataxia, Spinocerebellar ataxias, Friedreich’s ataxia, etc.

The most common type of ataxia to occur is Friedreich’s ataxia because it is based on the genes of the person.

The symptoms of Friedreich’s ataxia are unclear speech, wobbling, frequently falling, troubled swallowing, etc. Even in some cases, the heart muscles of the person get thicker.

There can be several reasons that cause ataxia such as deficiency of vitamin E and vitamin B-12, thyroid, multiple brain abnormalities, brain injuries, Cerebral palsy, infection such as HIV and LYME, Paraneoplastic syndromes, etc.

When the symptoms get more frequent to affect the body movements, a person is suggested to see the doctor as soon as possible.

What is Dysmetria?

Dysmetria causes a lack of attention towards basic measurements that are needed to be understood to lead a normal life.

For example, a normal person can hit a football without facing any trouble while a person suffering from Dysmetria would certainly be unable to kick the football since he can’t tackle the situation of measurement.

Also, he can not decide the range Of motion required for certain activities, in other words, the person becomes impotent to control speed, distance, and range of motion.

Dysmetria is also considered to be cerebellar ataxia. The general cause of Dysmetria is an injury delivered to the cerebellum in some way that was capable enough to disturb the coordination between mind and body.

The nerves that are liable to carry sensory information to the brain of the certain part, if injured, can be responsible for Dysmetria. These things together make it hard for a person to make the decision whether a movement should start and at what point the movement should stop.

With the assistance of clinical trials and tests, Dysmetria can be diagnosed and treated. One of these tests is finger to nose. In this test, the person is required to touch his index finger to nose.

If he found it difficult then he’s most certainly a victim of Dysmetria.

Main Differences Between Ataxia and Dysmetria

  1. The common symptoms of ataxia are unstable walk and gibberish talk while the general symptoms of Dysmetria are poor balance and lack of coordination between brain and body.
  2. A person suffering from ataxia is suggested to take medications and other physical therapies while in Dysmetria, the person is required to take occupational therapies.
  3. A person is considered to be suffering from ataxia when his blood and genetics tests show positive results while Dysmetria can be diagnosed by running simple tests like a finger-to-nose test.
  4. Ataxia can be caused by many different reasons such as infections and medications while Dysmetria is mainly caused by head injuries.
  5. There are many types of ataxia that have been found are Cerebellar ataxia, vestibular, and acquired ataxia while Dysmetria has only two types.


  1. https://journals.lww.com/md-journal/citation/1972/07000/ataxia_telangiectasia.2.aspx
  2. https://journals.physiology.org/doi/abs/10.1152/jn.1991.65.3.563
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