Tampa, U.S.A. — Scientists, clinicians and patients will gather at the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) in downtown Tampa September 6 to share research insights and energize the search for a cure for Friedreich’s ataxia (FA) and related disorders.

This year, for the first time, the scientific symposium will be live streamed through the Friedreich Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) Facebook page, with opportunities for visitors to join the discussion long distance. To connect to the live stream and learn about cutting edge research advances in FA, visit: http://www.facebook.com/CureFA/app_196506863720166 on September 6 at 6 p.m.  You do not need a Facebook account to join.

The fourth annual scientific symposium “Understanding a Cure” will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. onThursday, Sept. 6, at USF Health CAMLS, 124 South Franklin Street, Tampa, FL 33602. The symposium, free and open to the public, is hosted by FARA and the USF Ataxia Research Center (ARC) and includes a tour of CAMLS.

FA (Friedreich’s ataxia) is a rare, debilitating neuromuscular disorder. Symptoms, typically emerging between ages 5 and 15, often progress to severe disability and include the following: loss of coordination and muscle weakness that leads to wheelchair use, energy deprivation and fatigue, vision impairment, hearing loss, slurred speech, aggressive scoliosis, diabetes, and life-shortening cardiac disease. There is not yet an approved treatment or a cure.

“This year’s Friedreich’s Ataxia Symposium will build upon the momentum of the last three years by highlighting some of the most promising discoveries yet from leading researchers in the field,” said Theresa Zesiewicz, M.D., professor of neurology and director of the USF Ataxia Research Center, who moderates the symposium. “The opportunity for patients who cannot be with us in person to join the interactive symposium in real-time via Facebook has generated a lot of excitement. We’re looking forward to lively discussions.”

The list of speakers and the evening’s agenda can be found at: http://curefa.org/energyball/sep6.html