It is true that once a nerve cell is dead, nothing can be done for that cell.  However the hope is that the technology that Mirella and Alice are using will ultimately enable cells to be produced that can be put into the nervous system, heart and other organs to replace the dead cells.
I have cc'd Mirella and Alice to ensure they agree with what I have said and if they are then I am very happy for this to be emailed to the broader FA community.
Professor Martin Delatycki
Director, Clinical Genetics, Austin Health
Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital
PO Box 5444, Heidelberg West, 3081
Victoria, Australia
Director, Bruce Lefroy Centre for Genetic Health Research
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Flemington Road Parkville, 3052
Victoria Australia


From: Jennifer Callaghan
Sent: Mon 2/15/2010 3:30 PM
To: Martin Delatycki
Subject: clarification

Hi Martin
I read the latest FA breakthrough article at Monash with great excitement and hope.
It says”.... Dr Dottori and her colleague Dr Alice Pebay have ''pushed'' these cells to turn into nerve and heart cells, which can be studied to better understand the disease....”
Does this mean that nerve cells can or can’t be grown in a person with FA?
I have been told that once a nerve cell is dead,  it cannot be brought back to full function. This article gives the impression a  new nerve cell can be made from fibroblasts. 
Can you clarify this and may I publish your response?
Yours sincerely

Jenni Callaghan

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