Friedreich Ataxia Research Alliance, USF ARC to host ‘Understanding a Cure’ symposium

Published on August 28, 2012 at 5:52 AM · No Comments

Scientists, clinicians and patients will gather at the University of South Florida's Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) in downtown Tampa Sept. 6 to share research insights and energize the search for a cure for Friedreich's ataxia and related disorders.

The fourth annual scientific symposium "Understanding a Cure" will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 6, at USF Health CAMLS, 124 South Franklin Street, Tampa, FL 33602. The symposium, free and open to the public, is hosted by Friedreich Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) and the USF Ataxia Research Center (ARC), and will include a tour of CAMLS.

This year, for the first time, the scientific symposium will be live streamed through the FARA Facebook page, with opportunities for visitors to join the discussion long distance. To connect to the live stream and learn about cutting edge research advances in Friedreich's ataxia, visit: http://www.facebook.com/CureFA/app_196506863720166 on September 6 at 6 p.m. A Facebook account is not needed to join.

Friedreich's ataxia is a rare, debilitating neuromuscular disorder. Symptoms, typically emerging between ages 5 and 15, often progress to severe disability and include the following: loss of coordination and muscle weakness that leads to wheelchair use, energy deprivation and fatigue, vision impairment, hearing loss, slurred speech, aggressive scoliosis, diabetes, and life-shortening cardiac disease. There is not yet an approved treatment or a cure.

"This year's Friedreich's Ataxia Symposium will build upon the momentum of the last three years by highlighting some of the most promising discoveries yet from leading researchers in the field," said Theresa Zesiewicz, MD, professor of neurology and director of the University of South Florida Ataxia Research Center, who moderates the symposium. "The opportunity for patients who cannot be with us in person to join the interactive symposium in real-time via Facebook has generated a lot of excitement. We're looking forward to lively discussions."

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