Each month, we’re donating to a pediatric fund at Michigan Medicine, the healthcare system run by the University of Michigan. This month, we turn our support towards ataxia research conducted by the Neurology Department. Michigan Medicine provides high-quality care to patients, educates future scientists and physicians, and conducts research into new treatments and therapies.
Neurology Research: A Cause Close to Our Hearts and Practice
“The brain makes us who we are, largely defining our uniqueness as individuals and as a species,” writes David J. Fink, M.D., chair of the department. “For this reason diseases that attack the nervous system…strike at the core of our being. Imagine being unable to speak, being unable to move your limbs at will, or experiencing difficulty recognizing common surroundings or close relatives.”
These issues are experienced by many of our clients with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy (CP), and other birth injuries. We are often able to help them obtain funding for the very best medical care, which maximizes their function and minimizes negative symptoms such as pain. However, we know the power of currently-available treatments and therapies is limited, and that many of our clients and other individuals with neurological conditions urgently need new options. The Neurology Department at Michigan Medicine is on the cutting edge of research, and we are pleased to contribute to their mission.
Michigan Medicine’s Ataxia Clinic
Ataxia refers to a group of neurological diseases that affect coordination and balance. Often, hand-eye coordination, speech, and gait are affected. There are two main types of ataxia: hereditary and sporadic. Hereditary ataxias are caused by genetic mutations. Sporadic ataxias occur in people with no known family history of ataxia, and can be caused by the following factors (among others):
- Nutritional problems
The ataxia clinic is involved in treating ataxia as well as conducting research into the causes of ataxia and developing new therapies. This year, our donation helped Dr. Vikram Shakkottai and his colleagues. They are researching how changes in cerebellar physiology can affect ataxia disorders, and if ion channel modulators can be used to treat motor disorders. They are passionate about the prevention and treatment of ataxia, as well as working toward a cure. To learn more about their research, click here.
Patients who are interested in participating in clinical trials can contact the ataxia clinic at 734-764-6831.
Join Us in Supporting Ataxia/Neurology Research at Michigan Medicine!
To learn more about the ataxia clinic, click here: https://www.uofmhealth.org/conditions-treatments/brain-neurological-conditions/ataxia
To learn more about the Department of Neurology, click here: https://medicine.umich.edu/dept/neurology
Click here to donate to ataxia research or another program through the Department of Neurology: https://leadersandbest.umich.edu/find/#!/mimed/mimed/neurology