First described by Nikolaus Friedreich in a series of five papers published from 1863 to 1877, Friedreich's ataxia is a multisystemic neurodegenerative disorder and the most common of the hereditary ataxia syndromes (1,2).
- the mode of inheritance is autosomal recessive
- is the most common form of progressive ataxia in the UK(3)
Extra-neurological involvement includes:
- hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in most patients
- diabetes mellitus in 10%
Onset is usually during adolescence.