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Brain structural damage in Friedreich's ataxia

Neuropathological descriptions of the brain in Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) were obtained before availability of the current molecular genetic tests for this disease. Voxel-based morphometry (VBM) enables an unbiased whole-brain quantitative analysis of differences in gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) volume.

Using VBM, we assessed the brain structural damage in 22 patients with genetically confirmed FRDA and 25 healthy controls. The results were correlated with the disease duration and the severity of the patients' clinical deficits--evaluated using the International Cerebellar Ataxia Rating Scale and Inherited Ataxia Clinical Rating Scale.

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