What is Friedreich’s Ataxia?*
- An inherited disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system.
- Named after the physician Nicholaus Friedreich, who first described the condition in the 1860s.
- “Ataxia” refers to coordination problems such as clumsy or awkward movements and unsteadiness, occurs in many different diseases and conditions.
- The ataxia of Friedreich’s ataxia results from the degeneration of nerve tissue in the spinal cord and of nerves that control muscle movement in the arms and legs.
- Friedreich’s ataxia, although rare, is the most prevalent inherited ataxia, affecting about one in every 50,000 people in the United States. Males and females are affected equally.
*Retrieved From National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
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