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In this section, you will find the most recent FA research publications, many of which are funded by FARA, as well as information on upcoming conferences and symposiums. You can search for articles by date using the archive box in the right hand column. To locate FARA Funded or Supported Research, click the hyperlink in the right hand column. You may also search for specific content using key words or phrases in the search button at the top right of your screen. Please be sure to visit other key research sections of our website for information on FARA’s Grant Program and the Treatment Pipeline.
Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is the most common cause of childhood onset ataxia. We report on a 4 year old boy who suffered sudden cardiac death and was found to have a dilated cardiomyopathy with left ventricular hypertrophy on post-mortem studies. Molecular genetic testing subsequently confirmed the diagnosis of Friedreich ataxia. To our knowledge, this is the first report of Friedreich ataxia presenting as sudden cardiac death in early childhood.
Friedreich’s ataxia (FRDA) is a hereditary neurodegenerative disease that frequently culminates in cardiac failure at an early age. FRDA is believed to arise from reduced synthesis of the mitochondrial iron chaperone frataxin due to impaired gene transcription, which leads to mitochondrial iron accumulation, dysfunction of mitochondrial Fe-S containing enzymes, and increased Fenton-mediated free radical production. Recent reports have challenged this generally accepted hypothesis, by suggesting that the oxidative stress component in FRDA is minimal and thereby questioning the benefit of antioxidant therapeutic strategies.
Yeast cells deficient in the yeast frataxin homolog (Yfh1p) accumulate iron in their mitochondria. Whether this iron is toxic, however, remains unclear. We showed that large excesses of iron in the growth medium did not inhibit growth and did not decrease cell viability. Increasing the ratio of mitochondrial iron-to-Yfh1p by decreasing the steady-state level of Yfh1p to less than 100 molecules per cell had very few deleterious effects on cell physiology, even though the mitochondrial iron concentration greatly exceeded the iron-binding capacity of Yfh1p in these conditions.
Interatrial block is a predictor of atrial arrhythmias. Aim of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of interatrial block (IAB) in Friedreich's Ataxia (FA) compared to controls and correlate it with echocardiographic and genetic features.