Blood thiamine levels in ataxia patients were studied. No significant differences were found between 30 patients with Friedreich's ataxia and 29 patients with olivopontocerebellar atrophy (OPCA) compared with control subjects. Both OPCA and Friedreich's ataxia patients presented significantly lower cerebrospinal fluid thiamine levels than their controls (p less than 0.001 and p less than 0.04 respectively). These results, discussed in terms of the high degree of cerebellar atrophy on CT scans in OPCA v Friedreich's ataxia patients, seem to correlate with cerebellar thiamine turnover and content.
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