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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.

 


 

North and South Indian Populations Share a Common Ancestral Origin of Friedreich's Ataxia but Vary in Age of GAA Repeat Expansion

Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is caused by expansion of GAA repeats in the frataxin (FXN) gene on chromosome 9q13-q21.1. We analysed the origin of FRDA in 21 North Indian (NI) and eight South Indian (SI) families using five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and a microsatellite marker spanning the GAA repeats. The NI and SI families were derived from Indo-European and Dravidian linguistic backgrounds respectively.

North and South Indian Populations Share a Common Ancestral Origin of Friedreich's Ataxia but Vary in Age of GAA Repeat Expansion

PGC-1alpha Down-Regulation Affects the Antioxidant Response in Friedreich's Ataxia

Cells from individuals with Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) show reduced activities of antioxidant enzymes and cannot up-regulate their expression when exposed to oxidative stress. This blunted antioxidant response may play a central role in the pathogenesis. We previously reported that Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor Gamma (PPARγ) Coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1α), a transcriptional master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis and antioxidant responses, is down-regulated in most cell types from FRDA patients and animal models.

PGC-1alpha Down-Regulation Affects the Antioxidant Response in Friedreich's Ataxia

Friedreich ataxia presenting as sudden cardiac death in childhood: Clinical, genetic and pathological correlation, with implications for genetic testing and counselling

Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is the most common cause of childhood onset ataxia. We report on a 4 year old boy who suffered sudden cardiac death and was found to have a dilated cardiomyopathy with left ventricular hypertrophy on post-mortem studies. Molecular genetic testing subsequently confirmed the diagnosis of Friedreich ataxia. To our knowledge, this is the first report of Friedreich ataxia presenting as sudden cardiac death in early childhood.

Friedreich ataxia presenting as sudden cardiac death in childhood: Clinical, genetic and pathological correlation, with implications for genetic testing and counselling

Does oxidative stress contribute to the pathology of Friedreich's ataxia? A radical question

Friedreich’s ataxia (FRDA) is a hereditary neurodegenerative disease that frequently culminates in cardiac failure at an early age. FRDA is believed to arise from reduced synthesis of the mitochondrial iron chaperone frataxin due to impaired gene transcription, which leads to mitochondrial iron accumulation, dysfunction of mitochondrial Fe-S containing enzymes, and increased Fenton-mediated free radical production. Recent reports have challenged this generally accepted hypothesis, by suggesting that the oxidative stress component in FRDA is minimal and thereby questioning the benefit of antioxidant therapeutic strategies. 

Does oxidative stress contribute to the pathology of Friedreich's ataxia? A radical question

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