Thiamine (vitamin B1) is a cofactor of fundamental enzymes of cell energetic metabolism; its deficiency causes disorders affecting both the peripheral and central nervous system. Previous studies reported low thiamine levels in cerebrospinal fluid and pyruvate dehydrogenase dysfunction in Friedreich ataxia (FRDA). We investigated the effect of long-term treatment with thiamine in FRDA, evaluating changes in neurological symptoms, echocardiographic parameters, and plasma FXN mRNA levels. Thirty-four consecutive FRDA patients have been continuously treated with intramuscular thiamine 100 mg twice a week and have been assessed with the Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA) at baseline, after 1 month, and then every 3 months during treatment.
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