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Open label Pilot Study of Oral Methylprednisolone for the Treatment of Patients with Friedreich Ataxia

This group assessed the effect of methylprednisolone on safety, tolerability and ability in Friedreich Ataxia (FRDA). The study was an open-label trial of pulse methylprednisolone on 11 participants with FRDA. All participants followed a 28-day treatment cycle, repeated 7 times. Patients were assessed with the timed 25 foot walk (T25FW), 1-minute walk (1MW), the Friedreich Ataxia Rating Scale (FARS), and 9-Hole Peg Test (9HPT). Efficacy was tested by comparing baseline and week 26 visits, separated into adult and pediatric groups. In comparisons of participants' baseline and week 26 visits, only the pediatric cohort's 1MW score showed change (p<0.05). The T25FW, the primary outcome measure, did not change significantly. Pediatric participants improved in gait distance in the 1MW, but not significantly in other measures in this overall negative study. Methylprednisolone was generally well tolerated, suggesting that it may be useful for ambulatory children with FRDA if benefit is found with further study.

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