A chance to take part in genetics research

Hi all

You may want to take a look at the news item on the website about a new genetics research project that's recruiting families with ataxia of unknown cause. If you want to take part, you'll need to hurry as the researchers are hoping to take blood samples very soon - in December. The study is at University College London but it's definitely still worth enquiring if you're outside London as your GP may be able to send your sample for you.

Here's a link to more info:


14 Replies

  • I doubt if researchers at University College London will find out a practicable remedy

    for ataxia of known or unknown cause

    So,why give away personal data ??



  • Hi Jurgen

    Thanks for your reply; it's a very good question.

    You're right that this study in itself will not find a remedy for ataxia, but that isn't its stated aim. What they might be able to do is identify the gene or genes responsible for one or more ataxias for which the gene was previously unknown. This is the first step to being able to target that gene to develop treatment. They're going to be scanning the whole genome, rather than just looking at the areas of the genome that are already known to be involved in ataxia, and it's that that could lead them to new genes.

    Personal data management is certainly a consideration. I would suggest contacting the research team if you are interested in taking part, as they will be able to tell you more about how the information will be handled.

    All the best


  • We'll keep you posted on the progress of the study as we hear about it.


    Didyou get my thanks dear AdeDP ?


  • I did! Thanks, Jurgen.

  • Hi Ade,

    I imagine that this is open only to residents in the uk? Could you confirm this for me please.

  • Hi wibblywobbly,

    Yes, it is only for UK residents who are patients in the UK healthcare system and who have an NHS number.

  • Thanks for the heads-up, AdeDP! I live in the States and although I have Sporadic Cerebellar Ataxia (non-hereditary/unknown cause), no one in my family, as far back as we know, has/had ataxia, except me. I've had genetic testing for the known recessive types of ataxia, which was negative. I may have testing for the known dominant ataxia's, although there's only a 10% chance of a positive result. I'm always glad to hear of a study, as research will one day lead to a cure! ;o)

  • You're welcome, february.

    We'll keep you posted on the progress of the study as we hear about it.

  • That would be splendid, AdeDP! ;o)

  • H Ade!

    Unfortunately my close family share the same concerns as Jurgen. I realise how helpful it would be

    if they would become involved but have been unable to sway them. Shortly after I was diagnosed

    I donated DNA. xB

  • Hi wobblybee

    Well don't forget that it's possible that people may still see some benefit from the study even if not taking part, for example were the research to lead to new diagnostic tests, as is hoped, that would either give a specific diagnosis or rule out a newly-found ataxia gene.

  • I have just been informed that I am not eligible for the programme as I have no surviving parents. At 75 no real suprise!

  • Jurgen your attitude comes across as quite selfish, identifying the origin of different types of Ataxia is a step you need before a cure can be found but in itself that would help people with a definite answer and a genetic test will hugely help those trying to claim benefits.


  • We've just heard from the researchers that they've been given an extension and so can collect samples until the end of February 2014. So if you're interested, it's still very much worth getting in touch with the research team to find out more.

    Here's their letter, including more info and contact details:


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