Idebenone is presently in a phase III trial in the US and in Europe, with the primary outcome measure being neurological function. Deferiprone, an atypical iron chelator, may decrease build-up of toxic iron in the mitochondria in patients. It has entered a phase II trial in Europe, Australia and Canada directed toward improvement of neurological abilities. Finally, targeted histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors and erythropoietin increase levels of frataxin when used in vitro, suggesting that they may provide methods for increasing frataxin levels in patients. Erythropoietin has been tested in a small phase II trial in Austria, while HDAC inhibitors are still at a preclinical stage. Symptomatic therapies are also in use for specific symptoms such as spasticity (baclofen). Thus, there is substantial optimism for development of new therapies for FA in the near future, and we suggest that one or several may be available over the next few years. However, continued development of new therapies will require creation of new, more sensitive measures for neurological dysfunction in FA, and clinically relevant measures of cardiac dysfunction.

Document Type: Research article

Affiliations: 1: 1 Department of Neurology, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA 2: 4 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA



Authors: Tsou, Amy Y.1; Friedman, Lisa S.; Wilson, Robert B.2; Lynch, David R.

Source: CNS Drugs, Volume 23, Number 3, 2009 , pp. 213-223(11)



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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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