Sensory ataxia is distinguished from cerebellar ataxia by the presence of near-normal coordination when the movement in question is visually observed by the patient, but marked worsening of coordination when the eyes are shut.
Patients with sensory ataxia often demonstrate pseudoathetosis and Romberg's sign. They usually complain of loss of balance in the dark, typically when closing their eyes in the shower or removing clothing over the head.
Sensory ataxia can be a manifestation of sensory large fiber peripheral neuropathies and conditions causing dysfunction of the dorsal columns of the spinal cord due to a variety of disorders: infectious, auto-immune, metabolic, toxic, vascular and hereditary diseases.
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