Co-enzyme Q10 and idebenone use in Friedreich's ataxia


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Paola Giunti, Department of Molecular Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, WC1N 3BG, UK.



Friedreich's ataxia is a debilitating progressive neurodegenerative disease associated with cardiomyopathy and other features. The underlying cause is a deficiency of the mitochondrial protein frataxin which causes mitochondrial iron deposition, increased oxidative stress and impaired adenosine triphosphate production. Over the last 15 years, multiple clinical trials have assessed the efficacy of antioxidant agents in this disease. This article reviews trials of the two most important agents, namely co-enzyme Q10 and idebenone.