CHOP, Penn Get Donation for New Research Center

Hospitals will work together to treat Friedreich’s ataxia.

Philadelphia Business Journal reports that Penn and the Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania have been given a joint donation to research treatments for Friedreich’s ataxia, a rare neurogenic disease that afflicts 1 in 50,000 people.

The new Friedereich’s Ataxia Center of Excellence is “being created to expedite and support basic science and drug discovery findings for new treatments to help individuals living with Friedreich’s ataxia,” the paper reports.

“The disorder, most often inherited, is characterized by progressive lack of coordinated movement and loss of balance. It also involves the degeneration of heart muscle and nerve cells. Most Friedreich’s ataxia patients are confined to a wheelchair by their mid-to-late twenties.”  There are no drugs, yet, to treat the condition.