Which specialist consultations are beneficial to patients with olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA)?

Updated: Dec 17, 2018
  • Author: Sombat Muengtaweepongsa, MD, MSc; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Consultations with physical and occupational therapists are helpful to increase mobility; the use of assistive devices can significantly increase functional ability. A recent case study using progressively more challenging static and dynamic balance tasks over a 12-week period produced significant improvement in balance in a patient with proven olivopontocerebellar atrophy. [129] A swallowing evaluation can be a very important part of the early consultation.

Now that genetic testing is available, it can be performed to confirm the diagnosis of autosomal dominant OPCAs. These patients may not develop symptoms until after the onset of their reproductive years; therefore, family members must be evaluated early if a diagnosis of autosomal dominant OPCA is made. Referral for genetic counseling is advisable in these individuals. Not all patients wish to learn of their risks in the absence of an available treatment, while some individuals may use the information for family planning and other types of planning for the future.


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