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Friedreich’s Ataxia

Learn about Friedreich’s Ataxia and how MS Queensland can provide assistance and support.

About Friedreich’s Ataxia

Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA) is a genetic disease that causes progressive damage to the nervous system. “Ataxia” means impaired muscle coordination, which results from the degeneration of nerve tissue in the spinal cord and of nerves that control muscle movement in the arms and legs.

It is caused by inherited faults in a gene that interfere with the production of the protein “frataxin”, essential for the functioning of cells. There is currently no known cure for Friedreich’s Ataxia however many of the problems associated with the disease can be treated.

Adjusting to life with Friedreich’s Ataxia

The first symptom of FA is typically difficulty in walking, and usually results in the inability to walk 8 -10 years after the initial onset of symptoms.  Other common developments may include:

  • Scoliosis (a curving of the spine to one side), which, if severe, may impair breathing
  • Heart disease, such as cardiomyopathy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Diabetes mellitus

As a progressive disease, symptoms will change over time and assistance may be required for:

  • Enhancing independence, including help around the home
  • Visiting and maintaining contact with family and friends
  • Participating in social and recreational activities
  • Employment advice and placement
  • Exercise and health programs
  • Access to therapy support, aids or equipment to keep you safe and maintain your independence
  • Mental health support

How MS Queensland can help

MS Queensland has a long history of helping people with MS and other progressive neurological diseases such as Friedreich’s Ataxia. We know that many of the symptoms of and treatments for MS are also common to other PNDs and we offer our knowledge, expertise and understanding in this field to a broad range of people.  Some of our services include:

  • Service coordination
  • NDIS access assistance
  • Neurophysiotherapy
  • Accommodation
  • Employment services

Learn about our services & support

How to get help

For more information, questions, or assistance you can contact our NeuroAssist InfoLine on 1800 177 591 Monday – Friday between 7:30am – 6:30pm.  You can also request a call back from our NeuroAssist team and expect a call within 24 hours.

Request a callback