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Scientific News

FARA funds research progress

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.


Repeat expansion affects both transcription initiation and elongation in friedreich ataxia cells

Expansion of a GAA · TTC repeat in the first intron of the frataxin (FXN) gene causes an mRNA deficit that results in Friedreich ataxia (FRDA). The region flanking the repeat on FRDA alleles is associated with more extensive DNA methylation than is seen on normal alleles and histone modifications typical of repressed genes. However, whether these changes are responsible for the mRNA deficit is controversial.

Repeat expansion affects both transcription initiation and elongation in friedreich ataxia cells

Activation of mitochondrial energy metabolism protects against cardiac failure

Cardiac failure is the most prevalent cause of death at higher age, and is commonly associated with impaired energy homeostasis in the heart. Mitochondrial metabolism appears critical to sustain cardiac function to counteract aging. In this study, we generated mice transgenically over-expressing the mitochondrial protein frataxin, which promotes mitochondrial energy conversion by controlling iron-sulfur-cluster biogenesis and hereby mitochondrial electron flux.

Activation of mitochondrial energy metabolism protects against cardiac failure

Commentary on this article in PDF format

Feasibility of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Treatment in Five Patients With Familial Friedreich's Ataxia-A Case Series

Friedreich's ataxia (FRA) is an autosomal recessive disease of the central nervous system that is associated with familial cardiomyopathy. Cardiac involvement is seen in more than 90% of the patients and is the most common cause of death in these patients. We present a case series and discuss the indications for implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) implantation in FRA with review of the literature.

Feasibility of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Treatment in Five Patients With Familial Friedreich's Ataxia-A Case Series

Superior Cerebellar Peduncle Atrophy in Friedreich's Ataxia Correlates with Disease Symptoms

Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is the most common early onset inherited ataxia with clinical manifestations, including gradual progression of unremitting cerebellar-sensory ataxia, peripheral sensory loss, loss of lower limb tendon reflexes and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Although atrophy of the superior cerebellar peduncle (SCP) has been reported in several magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of FRDA, the relationship of SCP changes to genetic and clinical features of FRDA has not been investigated.

Superior Cerebellar Peduncle Atrophy in Friedreich's Ataxia Correlates with Disease Symptoms

The Test of Everyday Attention Reveals Significant Sustained Volitional Attention and Working Memory Deficits in Friedreich Ataxia

Sustained volitional attention and working memory capacity was examined for the first time in people with Friedreich ataxia (FRDA). We administered subtests of the Test of Everyday Attention to 16 individuals with molecularly confirmed FRDA and gender-, age-, and IQ-matched controls. Clinically significant impairment in working memory and sustained volitional attention was evident.

The Test of Everyday Attention Reveals Significant Sustained Volitional Attention and Working Memory Deficits in Friedreich Ataxia

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