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Serum uric acid in Friedreich Ataxia

Serum uric acid (UA) is a circulating antioxidant whose levels are typically lower in patients with neurodegenerative diseases than in unaffected individuals, reflecting a higher oxidative stress.These investigators looked at serum UA in Friedreich Ataxia (FRDA), in order to explore novel disease biomarkers. Serum UA was measured in 19 FRDA patients and compared to 26 unaffected individuals. Serum UA levels were significantly higher in FRDA than in unaffected individuals (p = .016), independent of age, gender and BMI. No correlations emerged with clinical data. Contrary to other neurodegenerative diseases, in FRDA, we observed an independent increase of serum UA content. We speculate that this may result from biochemical impairment induced by the genetic defect, acting as a sort of compensatory antioxidant defense, although proper dedicated studies are mandatory. This preliminary report suggests UA as a potential biomarker for FRDA and encourages further studies on novel therapeutic strategies.

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