Washington, D.C. — Although there is no effective treatment or cure available, Friedreich’s ataxia patients and families have more reason for real hope as they prepare events around the country on "Friedriech’s Ataxia Awareness Day," May 15th. The day is recognized in a Congressional proclamation and various events around the country. "An extraordinary explosion of research insights has followed the identification of the Friedreich’s ataxia gene in 1996," said U.S. Rep Robert E. Andrews of New Jersey in introducing the Congressional proclamation. "Growing cooperation among organizations supporting the research and the multidisciplinary efforts of thousands of scientists and health care professionals provide powerful evidence of the increasing hope and determination to conquer Friedreich’s ataxia. There is also a growing conviction that treatments can and will be developed for this disease and that the resulting insights will be broadly applicable across a wide range of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s."