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NINDS CDE Notice of Copyright
Friedreich's Ataxia Rating Scale (FARS)
Availability
The instrument is freely available here: http://www.curefa.org/network.
Classification
Core: Friedreich's Ataxia (FA)
Short Description of Instrument
The Friedreich Ataxia Rating Scale (FARS) is made up of a measure of ataxia, and activities of daily living subscale and a neurological subscale. This scale also includes  the 8m walk at maximum speed (8MW), the 9-hole peg test (9HPT), PATA rate and low-contrast letter acuity.
 
Strengths: FARS scores correlate significantly with functional disability, activities of daily living scores and disease duration. FARS has a large effect size and requires fewer patients for an equivalently powered study.
 
Weaknesses: This scale captures a particular dimension of neurologic function in FA, so as a composite measure, it is not good enough to predict disease status.
Scoring
The scores from the three subscales are added to generate a total score ranging from 0 to 159, with a higher score indicating a greater level of disability.
 
Functional Staging for Ataxia subscale scoring: 0 = Normal - 6.0 = Confined to wheelchair or bed with total dependency for all ADL. Total disability.
 
ADL subscale scoring: 9 items scored from 0 to 4.
 
Neurological Examination subscale scoring: 5 items scored from 0 to 2 or 0 to 5, depending on the specific parameter.
References
Subramony SH, May W, Lynch D, et al. Measuring Friedreich ataxia: interrater reliability of a neurologic rating scale. Neurology. 2005;64:1261–2.
 
Other References:
 
Delatycki MB. Evaluating the progression of Friedreich ataxia and its treatment. J Neurol. 2009. 256(Suppl 1):36-41.
 
Fahey MC, Corben L, Collins V, Churchyard AJ, Delatycki MB. How is disease progress in Friedreich’s ataxia best measured? A study of four rating scales. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatr. 2007 Apr; 78(4):4113-413.
 
Lynch DR, Farmer JM, Tsou AY, Perlman S, Subramony SH, Gomez CM, Ashizawa T, Wilmot GR, Wilson RB, Balcer LJ. Measuring Friedreich ataxia: complementary features of examination and performance measures. Neurology. 2006 Jun 13;66(11):1711-6.
 
Lynch DR, Farmer JM, Tsou AY, Perlman S, Subramony SH et al. Measuring Friedreich ataxia: complementary features of examination and performance measures. Neurology 2006; 66:1711-1716.
 
Subramony SH, May W, Lynch D, Gomez C, Fischbeck K et al. Measuring Friedreich ataxia: Interrater reliability of a neurologic rating scale. Neurology 2005;64:1261-1262.
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