The National Ataxia Foundation has proudly announced that 23 promising studies regarding ataxia being conducted in the United States, United Kingdom, Belgium, Portugal, Mexico and Germany were awarded funding at the December 2014 NAF Board of Directors meeting for fiscal year 2015. Between these 23 new studies that will receive financial support and those funded in the previous year, almost one million dollars has been given toward ataxia research.
These crucial ataxia research projects were made possible thanks to the generosity of the National Ataxia Foundation’s partners and donors. The Foundation noted on their website that they are grateful to those who contributed to the 2014 NAF Annual Ataxia Research Drive, including an anonymous donor that gave $200,000 dollars, the Foundation’s friends and supporters, the Michael and Patricia Clementz Family Endowment Fund for SCA 3 Research, all of the individual and group donations, and to those who conducted fund raising events.
A thank you note on the National Ataxia Foundation’s website emphasizes the importance of all the support in generating the funding necessary to support cutting-edge ataxia research: “The National Ataxia Foundation gratefully acknowledges all who supported these important ataxia research studies. It is through your generosity that enables NAF to continue to fund world-wide cutting-edge ataxia research studies that helps bring us closer to ending ataxia. Thank you!”
A list of the projects funded is available on the National Ataxia Foundation’s website and is divided in six categories: Research Seed Money Awards, which includes nine projects; a Young Investigator Award with one project; Young Investigator for SCA Research Awards, which includes with three projects; Post-Doc Fellowship Awards with six projects; Pioneer SCA Translational Grant Awards with four projects; and one Clinical Research Training Fellowship in Ataxia Award.
The National Ataxia Foundation was established in 1957 to help those with ataxia and their families. The Foundation’s first concerns are supporting ataxia research to find a cure and new ways to manage the condition and to provide both programs and services that can ease the families and loved ones of patients.
Since 1978, the Foundation has supported programs to seek direct funding to address research in this area of medicine; some research programs such as the NAF Young Investigator Award are essential to maintain ataxia research and to give hope to those affected by the disease.