How is Friedreich’s Ataxia Linked to Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Growth Hormone Deficiency?

Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) is a rare and painful disease.

With few treatments available to treat the genetic mutation, most therapy is aimed at controlling symptoms. Clearly, these short-term band-aids aren’t good enough, so any research around this neglected disease is interesting news.

According to FA News, The Journal of Child Neurology published a study on FA’s relationship with inflammatory bowel disease and growth hormone deficiency. They studied 641 patients with FA over the course of nine years and compared their findings with people who do not have FA. Results showed that FA patients have more occurrences of Crohn’s disease (by 2.5x), ulcerative colitis (by 2x), and growth hormone deficiency (by 28x). While these correlations are significant, researches claim that these separate conditions from FA can be explained by other genetic and environmental factors.

The goal of the study is to provide information that helps more accurately diagnose the less common peripheral symptoms of FA.


Jessica Gladwell

Jessica Gladwell

Jessica Gladwell is one of PW's consultants and patient editors. She has lived with late-stage, chronic Lyme and POTS since circa 2002. She has also served as a caregiver to close family members with late-stage, chronic Lyme. Before diagnosis, she served as a business consultant for a large corporation and PM for a small digital branding agency. Now, she is proactive in the rare and neurological disease community, spreading awareness and advising on matters of health and lifestyle when living with a chronic illness.

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