Chicago, Illinois — Maria Krasilnikova, a research assistant professor at University of Illinois at Chicago, is studying the underlying DNA replication of Friedreich’s Ataxia to help in the search for new drugs to treat the disorder.
In Friedreich’s Ataxia, the DNA sequence multiplies out of control. Friedreich’s is the most commonly inherited form of ataxia and causes progressive damage to the nervous system. It causes muscle weakness and loss of coordination in the arms and legs; impairment of vision, hearing and speech; scoliosis (curvature of the spine), diabetes; and a life-threatening heart condition. Average life expectancy is reduced to early adulthood.