Huntington’s disease research news. In plain language. Written by scientists. For the global HD community.
Our final report from the European HD Network meeting. For the first time, video of many presentations, including our 'EuroBuzz' sessions will be made available online shortly.
Here's Ed and Jeff's live Twitter report from the second day of the EHDN 2014 meeting. Our final report will be tomorrow, and we'll be uploading video of our onstage roundup sessions soon.
Join Jeff and Ed as we tweet live from the 2014 European Huntington's Disease Network meeting in Barcelona! Exciting science ahead!
We know that the cause of Huntington's disease is a genetic change, resulting a harmful protein: mutant huntingtin. But other proteins can get dragged into the fray and contribute to the problems faced by HD-affected cells. New research suggests that a rather notorious protein, called 'tau' – a known troublemaker in other degenerative brain diseases – builds up and causes damage in HD.
Cells in the brain depend on support from one another to stay alive. Nutrients called trophic factors act like brain fertilizer, keeping neighboring brain cells healthy. This process has long been thought to go wrong in HD, and exciting new mouse research paints a very clear picture of exactly what's happening.
The largest ever therapeutic trial for Huntington's disease was halted early this week because an analysis of the results to date showed that it was very unlikely to show positive results. The study, called 2CARE, was designed to test whether a treatment called coenzyme Q10 could slow the progression of HD.
We know those famous cells called neurons are important in Huntington's disease. But the brain has other cell types with 'supporting actor' roles. New research has shown that brain cells called astrocytes may misbehave in HD, allowing the neurons to malfunction.
The goal of everyone in the HD community is to come up with effective therapies for the disease. A recent publication describes a study in an HD mouse model that comprehensively shows that a proposed therapeutic approach doesn't work. Why are we excited about this bad news?
Huntington’s disease (HD) progression is a long process in which the first changes in the brain happen well before we even see symptoms in patients. It makes sense to focus our efforts on treating the earliest changes, to nip the problem in the bud. But what are these changes and how can we target them? A recent study has literally shed some light on this question. By creating HD mice with glowing brain cells, researchers at the University of Nottingham Medical School and the Babraham Institute in the UK have found that some of the earliest changes happen before these cells start to die, in a region of the brain where HD researchers have never before thought to look.
Huntington's disease is caused by the malfunctioning and early death of brain cells. Replacing those dead and dying cells with stem cells has long been a goal of some HD scientists. A new study investigates the long-term health of some of the earliest cell transplants into HD patient brains — and finds a surprising result.