ABSTRACT: Evaluation of therapeutic agents for Friedreich Ataxia (FA) has been limited by a lack of adequate markers of disease progression. We assessed the capacity of health related quality of life (HRQOL) questionnaires to reflect disease status in FA. The SF-36 and several symptom-specific scales were administered to an FA cohort. Scores were compared with norms for the United States population, and to a disease-free control group of similar age and gender. FA patients had significantly lower SF-36 Physical Component Summary scores (PCS) and Physical Functioning Subscale (PFS) scores, and both PCS and PFS scores correlated significantly with disease duration and disability status. Mental Component Summary scores (MCS) did not differ between FA patients and controls. Among symptom-specific scales, scores for the Pain Effects, Bladder Control, and Modified Fatigue Impact scales were significantly worse among FA patients than controls, and generally correlated with markers of disease progression. Findings of this study are consistent with the phenotypic characteristics of FA, and suggest that HRQOL measures are potentially useful as clinical markers of disease status in FA.
Journal of the Neurological Sciences 07/2008; 272(1-2):123-8. · 2.35 Impact Factor