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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.
Dysarthria in Friedreich Ataxia (FA) is difficult to quantify. This study evaluated a series of performance measures for speech in 22 patients with genetically confirmed FA and 16 age-matched controls. Tests included the PATA examination, the PATAKA examination, the Oral Motor component of the Boston Aphasia examination, the Boston Cookie Theft description task, and the Assessment of Intelligibility of Dysarthric Speech.
Iron overload is involved in several pathological conditions, including Friedreich ataxia, a disease caused by decreased expression of the mitochondrial protein frataxin. In a previous study, we identified 14 proteins selectively oxidized in yeast cells lacking Yfh1, the yeast frataxin homolog. Most of these were magnesium-binding proteins. Decreased Mn-SOD activity, oxidative damage to CuZn-SOD, and increased levels of chelatable iron were also observed in this model.
The cerebellar and spinocerebellar dysfunction seen in Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) has known effects on motor function. Recently, it was suggested that people with FRDA may also have impairment in motor planning, either because of cortical pathology or because of cerebello-cortical projections. Fifteen adults with FRDA and 15 matched controls completed a task requiring reciprocating movements between two buttons on a tapping board.