Category Archives: Friedreich’s Ataxia
Friedreich’s ataxia is an inherited disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system, resulting in symptoms ranging from gait disturbance to speech problems; it can also lead to heart disease and diabetes.
The ataxia of Friedreich’s ataxia results from the degeneration of nerve tissue in the spinal cord, in particular sensory neurons essential (through connections with the cerebellum) for directing muscle movement of the arms and legs. The spinal cord becomes thinner and nerve cells lose some of their myelin sheath (the insulating covering on some nerve cells that helps conduct nerve impulses).
The condition is named after the German physician Nikolaus Friedreich, who first described it in the 1860s
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