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Antioxidant Therapies and Oxidative Stress in Friedreich´s Ataxia: The Right Path or Just a Diversion?

One of the most studied hallmarks of Friedreich´s ataxia (FRDA) is the increased production of oxidative stress markers in patients and models. This feature has been the motivation to develop treatments that aim to counteract such boost of free radicals and to enhance the production of antioxidant defenses. In this work, the authors present and critically review those "antioxidant" drugs that went beyond the disease´s models and were approved for its application in clinical trials. The evaluation of these trials highlights some crucial aspects of the FRDA research. On the one hand, the analysis contributes to elucidate whether oxidative stress plays a central role or whether it is only an epiphenomenon. On the other hand, it comments on some limitations in the current trials that complicate the analysis and interpretation of their outcome. The authors also include some suggestions that will be interesting to implement in future studies and clinical trials.

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