Martin B. Delatycki1, 2

(1)  Bruce Lefroy Centre for Genetic Health Research, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Flemington Road, Parkville, Victoria, 3052, Australia
(2)  Dept. of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia

 Abstract   Friedreich ataxia is characterised by slowly progressive neurodegeneration and cardiomyopathy. Currently, no treatments have been proven to delay, prevent, or reverse the inexorable decline that occurs in this condition; however, several pharmaceutical agents are undergoing clinical assessment. Because initial beneficial therapies are likely to slow disease progression rather than reverse morbidity, the need for accurate measurement tools that will detect such subtle benefits is critical. The impact of Friedreich ataxia on the nervous system has been assessed largely through the use of rating scales and functional composite measures, and a number of patientreported outcome measures in Friedreich ataxia have been studied. However, on the basis of published reports on the performance of these measures, none clearly stands out as the best for use in clinical trials. Refinement of existing tools and development of new tools will be needed to maximise the chance of detecting small but clinically significant benefits of therapeutic agents in patients with Friedreich ataxia.
Journal   Journal of Neurology

Issue   Volume 256, Supplement 1 / March, 2009

SpringerLink Date  Friday, March 13, 2009

Kindly supplied by Juan Carlos Baiges

The legacy of Marie Schlau: literature to help cure Friedreich's Ataxia

If you feel like reading an unputdownable novel while collaborating with a just and solidary cause, "The Legacy of Marie Schlau" is your book! 100% of all funds raised will be dedicated to medical research to find a cure for Friedreich's Ataxia, a neurodegenerative disease that affects mostly young people, shortening their life expectancy and confining them to a wheelchair.

The life of Marie Schlau, a German Jewish girl born in 1833 hides great unsolved mysteries: accidents, disappearances, enigmas, unknown diagnoses, disturbing murders, love, tenderness, greed, lies, death ... alternatively a different story unfolds every time and takes us closer to the present. Thus, there are two parallel stories unravelling, each in a different age and place, which surprisingly converge in a revelatory chapter.

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Research projects currently being financed by BabelFAmily

Currently, BabelFAmily is financing two promising research projects aimed at finding a cure for Friedreich's Ataxia. Whenever you make a donation to us or purchase a copy of "The legacy of Marie Schlau", this is where all funds raised will be devoted to:

1) Gene Therapy for Friedreich's Ataxia research project:

The project is the result of an initiative of Spanish people affected by this rare disease who are grouped in GENEFA in collaboration with the Spanish Federation of Ataxias and the BabelFAmily. The Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), one of the main patients’ associations in the United States now joins the endeavour.

2) Frataxin delivery research project:
The associations of patients and families Babel Family and the Asociación Granadina de la Ataxia de Friedreich (ASOGAF) channel 80,000 euros of their donations (50% from each organisation) into a new 18-month project at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona). The project specifically aims to complete a step necessary in order to move towards a future frataxin replacement therapy for the brain, where the reduction of this protein causes the most damage in patients with Friedreich’s Ataxia.

The study is headed by Ernest Giralt, head of the Peptides and Proteins Lab, who has many years of experience and is a recognised expert in peptide chemistry and new systems of through which to delivery drugs to the brain, such as peptide shuttles—molecules that have the capacity to carry the drug across the barrier that surrounds and protects the brain. Since the lab started its relation with these patients’ associations in 2013*, it has been developing another two projects into Friedrich’s Ataxia.



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