Ataxia UK accredited Ataxia Centres are Centres of Excellence, where people with ataxia receive the best possible quality of care and a co-ordinated service combining diagnosis, treatment, support and research. You are guaranteed to be seen by a neurologist with expertise in the ataxias. An accredited Centre must also comply with other criteria. For further information contact Ataxia UK.

The Centres have been set up in direct response to needs identified by people affected by ataxia, as well as clinicians with expertise in the condition. The Centre at the National Hospital in London is the first Accredited Centre in England.

The London Ataxia Clinic

The clinic is held once a week. It is a specialised service for all patients with a suspected or confirmed genetic ataxia or other degenerative cerebellar ataxia. Referrals are accepted from neurologists and GPs throughout the UK.

The clinic provides:

  • Longer appointments – 45 to 60 minutes for new patients, 30 minutes for follow-up
  • Continuity of care – patients see the same Neurologist 
  • Referral to the newly established interdisciplinary therapy clinic. (Patients are able to see a physiotherapist, speech and language therapist and an occupational therapist in one clinic.)
  • Streamlined referrals to other specialists already interested in the ataxias, as appropriate. Named specialists in the following disciplines have already agreed to see ataxia patients:

    -      cardiology

    -      neuropsychiatry

    -      neurophysiology

    -      neuro-opthalmology

    -      neuropsychology

    -      neurological and spinal surgery

    -       orthopaedics

  • Close links with primary, community and secondary care services for shared care and education on the ataxias
  • Support both during and between clinic visits via the neurogenetic nurse. This nurse is available to discuss medical, social or financial queries
  • Establishment of an ataxia database, facilitating research
  • Validation of new genetic tests as they emerge

Involvement in Research:

The team at the London Ataxia Centre is also involved in various research projects. Patients who are interested may therefore have the opportunity to take part in research.

Current projects include:

  • EC funded multi-centre natural history studies in SCAs and Friedreich’s ataxia
  • A genetic screening study for determining a diagnosis of SCA11 (for which the gene was recently found by this team)
  • Verification of the value of validated ataxia rating scales for future use in therapeutic trials

A number of clinical trials in Friedreich’s ataxia have taken place.

The Clinic Team:

The clinic team includes Prof Paola Giunti and a neurogenetics nurse, Liz Redmond on 0845 155 5000 ext 84487 

After the clinic visit patients have the opportunity to talk to a representative from Ataxia UK. The representatives have direct experience of ataxia and will offer emotional and practical support as well as information on the services Ataxia UK offers.

Anyone interested in getting an appointment to attend the ataxia clinic should ask their doctor or neurologist for a referral. Referrals are accepted from GPs and neurologists throughout the UK. For a printer friendly version of this page to bring to your GP for a referral, click here.

Contact details for referrals:

Dr Giunti

National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery

Queen Square

London WC1N 3BG

0203 448 3100