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Neurological Recovery with Interferon-gamma Treatment in Friedreich's Ataxia

Various drugs are used to slow down / stop the neurodegenerative progress in Friedreich's ataxia (FA). However, recent clinical trials and animal experiments demonstrate that interferon-gamma (IFN-ɣ) treatment might improve signs of FA as well. A 9-year-old girl was admitted to our hospital with gait instability, mild dysarthria, and sensorimotor polyneuropathy. Her genetic examination was consistent with FA. IFN-ɣ treatment was started 3 times a week. The treatment was evaluated by physical examination and side effects assessment. Friedreich Ataxia Rating Scale (FARS), 9-hole peg test (9HPT), and time of 25-foot walk (T25FW) were measured. Ataxia and cerebellar findings improved within 9 months. Although clinical neurological improvement was achieved, there was no improvement in cardiomyopathy.

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