Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is an inherited, progressive, neurodegenerative disease for which there is presently no cure or effective therapeutic intervention. While physiologically complex, FRDA is caused by deficits in production and expression of frataxin (FXN), a mitochondrial protein important for regulation of iron-sulfur cluster containing enzymes in the cell. Depletion of FXN is associated with dysfunction of ATP synthesis, mitochondrial iron accumulation, potentially an increase in oxidative stress, and cellular dysfunction. Therapeutic development presently focuses on improving mitochondrial function and increasing FXN expression. Gene therapy, a field which has undergone significant advances in recent years, may offer a promising treatment for FRDA in the future. This collection of approaches provides many possible opportunities for treating this multisystem disorder. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.
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