Huntington’s disease research news. In plain language. Written by scientists. For the global HD community.
Recent days have seen a torrent of news stories about a new technology, called CRISPR, which has been described as having potential application in Huntington's disease. Is this new technique as cool as it sounds? Possibly — but, as always, the truth is more complicated than the headlines suggest.
A news article reports that a "breakthrough" program of physical, mental, and social stimulation could "halt Huntington's progression". Sounds pretty exciting — but does the science back up the hype?
A study looking for links between diet and symptom onset in Huntington's disease has unexpectedly found that people who developed symptoms earlier tended to consumed more dairy products. We look at the study in detail -- and why we're not hanging up the cheese-knife just yet.
Certain regions of the brain degenerate more quickly than others in Huntington’s disease. Steven Finkbeiner’s team concludes that this discrepancy is based on differing abilities of brain cells in these regions to quickly identify and dispose of mutant HD protein. Specifically, neurons from vulnerable brain regions are slowest to clear the protein.
In our final video feature from the 2013 World Congress on Huntington's disease in Rio de Janeiro, we interview we interview Jim Gusella of Harvard Medical School about genetic modifiers of HD, and Neil Aronin of University of Massachusetts Medical School about gene silencing and sheep.
Here's Buzzilia, video 2: highlights and interviews from the World Congress on Huntington's disease 2013 in Rio de Janeiro. Jeff and Ed discuss biomarkers and talk to Dr Ralf Reilmann about quantitative motor assessment, and Dr Julie Stout about cognitive problems.
Many people in the Huntington's disease community have noticed reports highlighting a recent study from the University of Leicester, which the BBC claimed "could treat Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and other diseases". The underlying study is well-executed research of some importance. However, the press hype is out of all proportion to the impact of this research. What does this study actually show, and what does it mean for HD?
The brain is a very hungry organ, but does it consume energy differently in Huntington's disease? A team led by David Eidelberg of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research has been studying the patterns of energy consumption in the brains of people carrying the HD mutation. Changes in how much sugar the brain uses are seen even before the brain starts to change physically, suggesting this might be a useful thing to track in HD clinical trials.
We present Buzzilia, video 1: news highlights and in-depth interviews with top HD researchers from the World Congress on Huntington's disease 2013 in Rio de Janeiro. On the opening day of the Congress, Jeff and Ed review the major developments since the last World Congress in 2011, and talk to Prof Elena Cattaneo from Milan, Italy, about the huntingtin protein.
The huntingtin protein, which in its mutant form causes Huntington's disease, is difficult to study because it forms clumps rather than neat crystals. Now, young HD researcher Gwen Owens of California Institute of Technology is reaching VERY high to try to crack the problem. In a special video interview screened at the recent HD World Congress, HDBuzz spoke to Gwen about her 'out-of-this-world' plans...