Application of a Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA) in Friedreich's ataxia patients according to posturography is limited

J Schwabova, T Maly, J Laczo, A Zumrova, V Komarek, Z Musova, F Zahalka
Journal of the Neurological Sciences 2014 June 15, 341 (1): 64-7

BACKGROUND: A scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA) was developed for evaluation of autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxias (ADCA) and was also recommended for clinical trials of Friedreich's ataxia patients (FRDA). FRDA, unlike ADCA, is characterized as being a sensory type of ataxia for which the disease-specific Friedreich ataxia rating scale (FARS) was developed. The objective of this study was to determine whether SARA and FARS scores are associated with posturographic parameters in FRDA patients.

METHOD: Adult patients with genetically confirmed FRDA (n=11) and ADCA (n=13) were evaluated by SARA, FARS and posturography.

RESULTS: FRDA patients' postural stability parameters, in stance with visual control, correlated with balance impairment in FARS (r=0.622; p<0.05) and SARA (r=0.735; p<0.05). Without visual control, only FARS correlated with balance impairment (r=0.732; p<0.05).

CONCLUSION: The SARA, in FRDA patients, correlates with stance with visual control but not without visual control which emphasizes sensory ataxia. This suggests that application of the SARA in Friedreich's ataxia patients according to posturography is possible but presumably limited and FARS, although being a more time consuming scale, may have advantages over SARA in FRDA patients.

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