The most common autosomal recessive ataxia is Friedreich's ataxia (FA), characterized mainly by an early onset, absent tendon reflexes, deep sensory loss, cerebellar and Babinski signs. Screening the patients from families with classical FA features, we found that some families were excluded from the FA locus on chromosome 9, and are associated to isolate vitamin E deficiency. The similarity of the clinical data between FA with and without vitamin E deficiency was remarkable. The disorder with vitamin E deficiency often confused with FA, is currently known as linked to chromosome 8q. Therefore it is important to test vitamin E levels in all patients suspected to have FA, since the alpha tocopherol supplementation may be efficient in early stages of the disease.