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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.


A comparison of three measures of upper limb function in Friedreich ataxia

Friedreich Ataxia (FRDA) is the commonest inherited ataxia. Clinical trials of pharmaceuticals are increasingly being conducted in this condition. This requires the most accurate outcome measures to enable trials to be conducted with a minimum number of subjects in the shortest time frame and to minimize the risk of false negative results. Upper limb function is a major area of morbidity in FRDA. We therefore have compared the performance of three tests of upper limb function in FRDA: the Nine Hole Peg Test (9HPT), Box and Blocks Test (BBT) and Jebsen Taylor Hand Function Test (JTHFT).

Read More: A comparison of three measures of upper limb function in Friedreich ataxia

Characterizing gait, locomotor status, and disease severity in children and adolescents with Friedreich ataxia

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study was to describe gait parameters in children and adolescents with a diagnosis of Friedreich ataxia (FA) and examine the relationship between disease severity, measured by the Friedreich Ataxia Rating Scale (FARS) and gait parameters. The study examined whether FARS scores can discriminate between those who walk independently and those who require assistance.

Read More: Characterizing gait, locomotor status, and disease severity in children and adolescents with Friedreich ataxia

Diverse effects in Friedreich's ataxia place PGC-1alpha center-stage

Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA), the most common inherited ataxia, is characterized by focal neurodegeneration, diabetes mellitus and life-threatening cardiomyopathy. Frataxin, which is significantly reduced in patients with this recessive disorder, is a mitochondrial iron-binding protein, but how its deficiency leads to neurodegeneration and metabolic derangements is not known.

Read More: Diverse effects in Friedreich's ataxia place PGC-1α center-stage

Chemical probes identify a role for histone deacetylase 3 in Friedreich's ataxia gene silencing

We recently identified a class of pimelic diphenylamide histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors that show promise as therapeutics in the neurodegenerative diseases Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) and Huntington's disease. Here, we describe chemical approaches to identify the HDAC enzyme target of these inhibitors. Incubation of a trifunctional activity-based probe with a panel of class I and class II recombinant HDAC enzymes, followed by click chemistry addition of a fluorescent dye and gel electrophoresis, identifies HDAC3 as a unique high-affinity target of the probe.

Read More: Chemical probes identify a role for histone deacetylase 3 in Friedreich's ataxia gene silencing

Friedreich's ataxia: Oxidative stress and cytoskeletal abnormalities

Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding frataxin, a mitochondrial protein implicated in iron metabolism. Current evidence suggests that loss of frataxin causes iron overload in tissues, and increase in free-radical production leading to oxidation and inactivation of mitochondrial respiratory chain enzymes, particularly Complexes I, II, III and aconitase.

Read More: Friedreich's ataxia: Oxidative stress and cytoskeletal abnormalities

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