Dr. Robert Dean and the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA)
Dr. Robert Dean is actively involved with the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) and working with them on ways to help find a cure. Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA) is a condition that causes damage to the nervous system. It will often start in childhood and worsen over time until it begins to impair movement. The disease impacts around 1 in every 50,000 people within the U.S. Unfortunately, the disease did not get very much attention, funding, or research until FARA was founded. The organization has led the awareness and research efforts since 1998 and continues to do so today.
What are the symptoms of Friedreich’s Ataxia?
The disease impacts people in different ways but generally speaking the symptoms will start to occur between the ages of five and fifteen. It typically starts by making it difficult for people to walk with the Ataxia spreading into the arms and core. Some patients will also lose their tendon reflexes and suffer from scoliosis. As time goes on patients may start to have their speech slur and develop hearing and vision loss, as well.
In addition to making large impacts on their ability to move, patients find it difficult to recover from common illnesses like colds and the flu. They become fatigues more easily and frequently suffer from chest pain, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations, common symptoms that result for accompanying heart disease.
Once the symptoms have started manifesting most patients only have ten to twenty years before they are confined to a wheelchair and eventually become incapacitated. This is incredibly devastating considering that most people start to suffer from Friedreich’s Ataxia when they are small children. By the time they are teenagers they could be permanently confined to a wheelchair.
How FARA Helps Patients
FARA was established in 1998 by a dedicated group of scientist and patient families that were determined to learn everything they could about the disease, what causes it and how to cure it. Their efforts have been successful in that millions of dollars have been poured into FA research and clinical trials throughout the world. With drugs in clinical trials, FARA continues to work on funding and creating public, private partnerships to further research and development.
Dr. Robert Dean and FARA
When Dr. Robert Dean became aware of Friedreich’s Ataxia, he was moved beyond measure. Witnessing small children suffer from an incurable genetic disease was something he could not stand by and watch. Listening to patients tell stories of heartbreak and learning to overcome their condition was inspirational and motivating. When children and young adults can be so confident in the face of a debilitating disease it brings what needs to be done into focus and Dr. Dean had to get involved. He has since been focused on bringing awareness to the disease, FARA, and the patients that are impacted by it. Through participation in various programs and fundraising activities, Dr. Robert Dean continues to push forward and partner with FARA to find a cure for those that need it most.
He invites you to join him in these efforts by learning more about FARA, volunteering, or donating so that those suffering from the disease can lead longer and fuller lives. To contact Dr. Dean, email firstname.lastname@example.org.