Friedreich's Ataxia

Also known as: FA, hereditary ataxia.

FA, hereditary ataxia.

Ataxia is a medical term for the loss of coordination and balance. Friedreich’s ataxia is a common form of ataxia that also impacts the nervous system and heart.

What causes Friedreich's ataxia?

Friedreich's ataxia is a hereditary condition that is passed along from parents to their children.

What are the symptoms of Friedreich's ataxia?

People with Friedreich's ataxia have muscle weakness, loss of balance and coordination and heart problems that can range from mild to life-threatening.

What are Friedreich's ataxia care options?

Friedreich's ataxia cannot be cured. Treatments such as medications and physical therapy can be helpful for managing the symptoms of the disease.

Reviewed by: Gregory W Hornig, MD

This page was last updated on: 9/14/2018 9:15:06 AM

Weekly Support Programs

Brain Wellness: Yoga for Kids

This program is provided by a certified yoga instructor. It offers children and teens the following benefits: managing stress through breathing, self-awareness, healthy movement and meditation. Yoga also promotes strength, flexibility, coordination and body awareness. Learn more.

From the Newsdesk

Dr. John Ragheb Contributes to Development of New CDC Guidelines for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Dr. John Ragheb, Director of the Division of Neurosurgery at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, is among a group of renowned physicians who developed the first evidence-based guideline in the U.S. on mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and concussions among children, published by the CDC in September. 
Dr. Aaron Berger Discusses Brachial Plexus Injuries

Dr. Aaron Berger is a pediatriac hand surgeon at Nicklaus Children's Hospital. For more information about the Brachial Plexus and Peripheral Nerve Disorders Program, please visit