National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is a genetic, progressive, neurodegerative movement disorder, with a mean age of onset between 10 and 15 years. Initial symptoms may include unsteady posture, frequent falling, and progressive difficulty walking due to impaired ability to coordinate voluntary movements (ataxia). Affected individuals may also develop slurred speech (dysarthria), characteristic foot deformities; and irregular lateral or sideways curvature of the spine (scoliosis). FRDA is often associated with cardiomyopathy, a disease of cardiac muscle that may lead to heart failure, which could present as shortness of breath upon exertion and chest pain. Some individuals may also experience irregularities in heart rhythm (cardiac arrhythmias). Some individuals may develop diabetes mellitus.
American Diabetes Association
Child Neurology Foundation
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance
Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
Let Them Hear Foundation
March of Dimes
Movement Disorder Society
Muscular Dystrophy Association
NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
National Ataxia Foundation
National Scoliosis Foundation
For a Complete Report
This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".
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