TOP STORY: Rare disease research at the University of Minnesota holds global promise
Published in MPR News, Mekayla Holm, a competitive dancer, was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia, or FA. It is a rare genetic neuromuscular disease that currently affects about 4,000 people in the United States. She is one of many patients participating in the TRACK-FA study, helmed by Drs. Christophe Lenglet and Pierre-Gilles Henry from the University of Minnesota’s Center for Magnetic Resonance Research.
They spoke with MPR News about the TRACK-FA study. Lenglet said, “Clinical trial-ready biomarkers are going to be very important to reduce the number of people needed in a clinical trial, or shorten the time, and eventually develop treatments, and eventually cures for FA.” The study consists of capturing detailed images of the brain, spinal cord, and even various neurochemicals. Currently, 75 patients are participating in the TRACK-FA. Mekayla said, “There’s a lot of hope, research and people that are on our side, that want to help us live the best lives we can.”