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Exercise Offers 'Profound' Benefits for Friedreich's Ataxia, Research Suggests

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A top exercise researcher at the University of Virginia School of Medicine is urging clinical trials of exercise in patients with Friedreich's ataxia after finding that physical activity has a "profound" protective effect in mouse models of the debilitating genetic disease.

Friedreich's ataxia typically limits patients' ability to exercise. But the new findings from UVA's Zhen Yan, Ph.D., suggest that well-timed exercise programs early in life may slow the progression of the disease, which robs patients of their ability to walk.

The finding could prove particularly important because genetic testing is currently not mandatory ...