As part of our ongoing commitment to supporting charities that are close to the hearts of our team, this quarter we have chosen to donate to Ataxia UK.
Emma Dalton, a member of the Simpson Associates team, has a family member who was diagnosed with Ataxia, following a lengthy battle with breast cancer at the age of just 26.
Ataxia is a rare, neurological condition that is devastating and can be life-limiting. Ataxia affects balance, speech and co-ordination, and in some types of ataxia can lead to heart failure. It’s rare and progressive, affecting approximately 10,000 adults and 500 children in the UK.
But that figure is only an estimate, and because ataxia is not widely known by medical professionals, it is challenging to diagnose. Only 13% of the UK population have heard of ataxia and know that it is a medical condition. Some people have been diagnosed unintentionally, while for others it has taken a whole decade. A survey in 2016 reported that 47% of people with ataxia found it a challenge to obtain a diagnosis.
There is currently no cure for the majority of ataxias, but there are forms of treatment that can ease the symptoms associated with ataxia. This means a faster and easier diagnosis is the starting point for someone to have the highest possible quality of life.
Ataxia UK funds research to find treatments and cures. They offer support to families affected, and look to improve treatment and care for patients.