UF to lead national effort to help patients with rare brain disease

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By UFL
December 15, 2009

Even with devastating brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, doctors can reach into their medical bags to find something to help a patient.

But they come up empty-handed when they try to help the vast majority of patients with ataxia — disabling disorders that rob people of their balance and coordination.

University of Florida neurologists are trying to change that with the help of a $1 million Challenge grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to establish a nationwide network of physician-scientists with expertise in clinical ataxia research.

Challenge grants are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Initiative and address specific scientific and health research challenges that will benefit from two-year jumpstart funds.

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