Friedreich's ataxia: clinical pilot trial with recombinant human erythropoietin



To determine the role of recombinant human erythropoietin as a possible treatment option in Friedreich's ataxia, we performed an open-label clinical pilot study. Primary outcome measure was the change of frataxin levels at week 8 versus baseline. Twelve Friedreich's ataxia patients received 5,000 units recombinant human erythropoietin three times weekly subcutaneously. Frataxin levels were measured in isolated lymphocytes by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In addition, urinary 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine and serum peroxides, were measured. Treatment with recombinant human erythropoietin showed a persistent and significant increase in frataxin levels after 8 weeks (p < 0.01). All patients showed a reduction of oxidative stress markers. Ann Neurol 2007