National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Ataxia, Friedreich's is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
- Friedreich's Disease
- Friedreich's Tabes
- Hereditary Ataxia, Friedrich's Type
- Spinal Ataxia, Hereditofamilial
Friedreich's Ataxia is a genetic, progressive, neurologic movement disorder that typically becomes apparent before adolescence. Initial symptoms may include unsteady posture, frequent falling, and progressive difficulties walking due to an impaired ability to coordinate voluntary movements (ataxia). Affected individuals may also develop abnormalities of certain reflexes; characteristic foot deformities; increasing incoordination of the arms and hands; slurred speech (dysarthria); and rapid, involuntary eye movements (nystagmus). Friedreich's Ataxia may also be associated with cardiomyopathy, a disease of cardiac muscle that may be characterized by shortness of breath upon exertion (dyspnea), chest pain, and irregularities in heart rhythm (cardiac arrythmias). Some affected individuals may also develop diabetes mellitus, a condition in which there is insufficient secretion of the hormone insulin. Primary symptoms may include abnormally increased thirst and urination (polydipsia and polyuria), weight loss, lack of appetite, fatigue, and blurred vision.
Friedreich's Ataxia may be inherited as an autosomal recessive trait. Cases in which a family history of the disease has not been found may represent new genetic changes (mutations) that occur spontaneously (sporadically). Friedreich's Ataxia results from mutations of a gene known as "X25" or "frataxin" located on the long arm (q) of chromosome 9 (9q13). In most affected individuals, the frataxin gene contains errors in the coded "building blocks" (nucleotide bases) that make up the gene's instructions. The symptoms and findings associated with Friedreich's Ataxia are thought to result primarily from degenerative changes of nerve fibers of the spinal cord as well as peripheral nerves, which are the motor and sensory nerves and groups of nerve cell bodies (ganglia) outside the brain and spinal cord.
March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
1275 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, NY 10605
National Ataxia Foundation
2600 Fernbrook Lane Suite 119
Minneapolis, MN 55447
National Scoliosis Foundation
5 Cabot Place
Stoughton, MA 02072
American Diabetes Association
1701 N. Beauregard Street
Alexandria, VA 22311
Muscular Dystrophy Association
3300 East Sunrise Drive
Tucson, AZ 85718-3208
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
P.O. Box 5801
Bethesda, MD 20824
Canadian Association for Familial Ataxias - Claude St-Jean Foundation
3800 Radisson Street Office 110
Quebec, H1M 1X6
Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance
533 W. Uwchlan Ave.
Downingtown, VA 19335
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
636 Morris Turnpike, Suite 3A
Short Hills, NJ 07078
Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
PO Box 241956
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Let Them Hear Foundation
1900 University Avenue, Suite 101
East Palo Alto, CA 94303
Child Neurology Foundation
2000 West 98th Street
Bloomington, MN 55431
Movement Disorder Society
555 E. Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202-3823
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Last Updated: 8/12/2008
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