Skip navigation
   Other Topics: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W XYZ All Topics

Friedreich's Ataxia

 

 
 

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

  • Difficulty walking
  • Muscle weakness
  • Speech problems
  • Involuntary eye movements
  • Scoliosis (curving of the spine to one side)
  • Heart palpitations, from the heart disease which can happen along with Friedreich's ataxia

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 Stroke

 

 

 
 
Basics Learn More Multimedia & Cool Tools
  • No links available

 

 
Research Reference Shelf For You

 

 

 

Illustration of the nervous system, including brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves

MEDICAL ENCYCLOPEDIA  

National Institutes of Health

 

  • MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.

 

 

 

MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.