Ataxia can be acquired during someone's lifetime, and caused by something other than a genetic malfunction.

Strokes, gluten intolereance, alcohol, vitamin-E deficiency and trauma to the head can all cause ataxia. Some of these types can be reversed, depending on the cause; a vitamin-E deficiency can be reduced by attention given to diet, for example, that will reduce ataxic symptoms and in some cases, eliminate them all together. A patient must consult their GP or neurologist before attempting to make any changes to their diet.