Friedreich's ataxia is an inherited disease that damages your nervous system. The damage affects your spinal cord and the nerves that control muscle movement in your arms and legs. Symptoms usually begin between the ages of 5 and 15. The main symptom is ataxia, which means trouble coordinating movements. Specific symptoms include
People with Friedreich's ataxia usually need a wheelchair 15 to 20 years after symptoms first appear. In severe cases, people become incapacitated. There is no cure. You can treat symptoms with medicines, braces, surgery and physical therapy.
NIH: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeSource: MedlinePlus
Within all the people who go to their doctor with friedrich ataxia, 87% report having ear pain, 72% report having arm weakness, and 72% report having flatulence. The symptoms that are highly suggestive of friedrich ataxia are ear pain, arm weakness, flatulence, peripheral edema, wheezing, arm pain, preoccupation with sex, wrist cramps or spasms, joint cramps or spasms, joint lump or mass, and muscle lump or mass, although you may still have friedrich ataxia without those symptoms.
Patients with friedrich ataxia often receive echocardiography, ultrasonography, pelvis exam, electrocardiogram, corneal transplant, transurethral resection of prostate (turp), coronary thrombolysis and control of epistaxis .
The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with friedrich ataxia include fluticasone nasal product, albuterol, digoxin, sildenafil (viagra), omeprazole, oxcarbazepine (trileptal), polyethylene glycol 3350 (miralax), acetic acid, acebutolol, dalfampridine (ampyra), air, polymyxin b sulfate and corticotropin (acthar) .
|Fluticasone Nasal Product|
|Polyethylene Glycol 3350 (Miralax)||$30|
|Polymyxin B Sulfate|
Groups of people at highest risk for friedrich ataxia include age 75+ years, age 5-14 years, age 15-29 years and race/ethnicity = white.