Huntington’s disease research news. In plain language. Written by scientists. For the global HD community.

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Latest news

Switching it up: variety in the HD gene affects symptom onset

Switching it up: variety in the HD gene affects symptom onset

Melissa Christianson on May 29, 2015

Just like it is difficult to predict exactly when a storm will hit, predicting when Huntington’s disease symptoms will arise for any particular person is hard to do. However, new research suggests that tiny changes in the on switch of the Huntington’s gene affect symptom onset – and may provide important information in the search for Huntington’s therapies.

Measuring harmful huntingtin protein in the brain’s bath water

Measuring harmful huntingtin protein in the brain’s bath water

Dr Michael Orth on May 18, 2015

Exciting technologies such as gene silencing are being developed for the treatment of Huntington’s disease. Aside from waiting for disease progression to take place, how will we know whether they are working? This has been a major hurdle for HD researchers, but we now have a super-sensitive method to measure the build-up of harmful huntingtin protein in the nervous systems of HD patients.

A faulty filter? Blood vessel changes in Huntington's disease

A faulty filter? Blood vessel changes in Huntington's disease

Melissa Christianson on May 13, 2015

Because brain cell death drives symptoms in Huntington’s disease, these cells steal the spotlight in disease-related research. But new research on the brain's blood supply has uncovered changes in HD that could be making it harder for the brain cells to cope with the disease.

Lighting the way: A new biomarker for Huntington’s disease

Lighting the way: A new biomarker for Huntington’s disease

Melissa Christianson on April 20, 2015

In Huntington’s disease, brain cells begin dying long before disease symptoms arise. Unfortunately, good tools for monitoring early brain changes – and testing whether new therapies slow or stop them – have not previously been available. However, a newly developed tool aiming to overcome this problem may mean big changes for the way we track Huntington’s disease.

Novel research technique suggests an antioxidant gene protects vulnerable neurons

Novel research technique suggests an antioxidant gene protects vulnerable neurons

Leora Fox on April 06, 2015

Researchers have developed a new technique that allows them to screen for genes that could contribute to the progression of Huntington’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. This is the first time this is possible in the mammalian central nervous system. They used the technique in an HD mouse to uncover an antioxidant gene, Gpx6, which is protective to neurons.

Building a Better Mouse(trap): A New Model of Huntington’s Disease

Building a Better Mouse(trap): A New Model of Huntington’s Disease

Melissa Christianson on March 16, 2015

Most research on Huntington’s disease is done using animal models that mimic the human disease. However, these models typically recreate only a few of the disease’s symptoms, and there are some important symptoms that don’t show up in any model at all. Now, exciting new research is making great strides against these problems – and teaching us about the disease at the same time.

Taking new targets to the bank: the DNA repair protein ‘ATM’ is overactive in Huntington's disease

Taking new targets to the bank: the DNA repair protein ‘ATM’ is overactive in Huntington's disease

Terry Jo Bichell on March 09, 2015

A recent study by the Yang lab at UCLA points to a new idea for preventing damage to neurons in Huntington’s disease. The strategy is to tone down an overly helpful protein called ATM. Inside neurons, ATM provides a crucial role in repairing the cell’s infrastructure, somewhat like that of a bridge inspector, but the expanded HD protein may be causing ATM to misjudge DNA damage.

2015 Huntington's Disease Therapeutics Conference: Day 3

2015 Huntington's Disease Therapeutics Conference: Day 3

Dr Jeff Carroll on March 03, 2015

Our final report from the Annual Huntington's Disease Therapeutics Conference.

2015 Huntington's Disease Therapeutics Conference: Day 2

2015 Huntington's Disease Therapeutics Conference: Day 2

Dr Jeff Carroll on February 26, 2015

Our second update from the Annual Huntington's Disease Therapeutics Conference.