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Prominent Friedreich’s ataxia spokesperson and advocate participated in University of Minnesota study

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) hosted prominent Friedreich’s ataxia spokesperson and patient, Kyle Bryant as he participated in an ataxia research study.

The study is being conducted by co-principal investigators Isabelle Iltis, Ph.D. and Christophe Lenglet, Ph.D.

“Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) is proud to fund the CMRR's research in Friedreich's ataxia. The CMRR is able to use new imaging technology to answer important questions about how the neurologic system is affected in Friedreich's ataxia and how the disease progresses,” said Bryant. “I am looking forward to participating in the study and visiting CMRR."

What is Friedreich's ataxia?

Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) is a rare debilitating, life-shortening, degenerative neuro-muscular disorder. About one in 50,000 people in the United States have Friedreich's ataxia.

Why is this research important?

Currently there is no cure for Friedreich's ataxia. Closer patient monitoring and information from the scans will be useful from a disease management perspective, and will also offer additional tools to test the effects of emerging treatments.

The study is being conducted in conjunction with the Ataxia Center at the University of Minnesota which provides specialized evaluation, testing and treatment for people with cerebellar ataxia and is supported by the Bob Allison Ataxia Research Center (BAARC).

Who is Kyle Bryant and why is he participating in this study?

Bryant is a well-known speaker and advocate in the Friedreich’s ataxia community. As an athlete, Bryant has not let his physical limitations from Friedreich’s ataxia derail his aspirations to raise awareness and funds for research. Bryant hopes that it will eventually help lead to a cure. The grant that makes this research study possible was named after Bryant, and funded by the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA).

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