Huntington’s disease research news. In plain language. Written by scientists. For the global HD community.
New therapies for disorders like Huntington’s disease are on the way, but getting the drugs to enter brain cells can be a major challenge. A group of scientists has redesigned and tested a harmless virus that can efficiently deliver a 'gene silencing' message throughout the brain in mice, much further than naturally occurring viruses can reach. What's more, it can be given with a simple injection into the blood, offering great potential for research in gene silencing research and beyond.
Common depictions of HD emphasizing only its movement symptoms paint an incomplete picture of the real disease. HD causes both motor and non-motor symptoms that, together, affect the entire body. Now, scientists are using a broader lens to explore this full set of HD symptoms and determine how symptoms might be related in the disease.
In early December, Raptor Pharmaceuticals released clinical trial results evaluating a drug called cysteamine in Huntington’s disease. News headlines about this trial are heavy on media spin, and so HDBuzz is here to break down what these new results really mean for the Huntington's community.
Researchers have found a connection between HD and an energy-regulating protein called PPAR-delta. Giving PPAR-delta a boost with an existing drug was protective in HD cells and mice, but we’ll likely need to research and test it further before it can go to the HD clinic.
The family and friends of individuals with HD often tell doctors that they began to notice changes in behavior long before a diagnosis was made. To better understand these early signs, researchers analyzed a psychological questionnaire filled out yearly for a decade by thousands of HD mutation carriers and their companions. The companions were more likely to perceive worsening symptoms over time.
Thinking problems in Huntington’s disease take a huge toll from early in the disease. Now, new work suggests that a drug already approved by the FDA to treat another brain disease – multiple sclerosis – may stave off these problems in HD mice. Could these results be real, or are they too good to be true?
Though many scientists have focused on damage to a part of the brain called the striatum as a source of HD symptoms, this is a narrow picture of what changes in the brain during HD. A new book provides a summary of many research techniques over a hundred years that have led to a more complete image of HD as a disease affecting the entire brain.
Today brings news that the first Huntington's Disease patients have been successfully dosed with gene silencing drugs targeting the HD gene. These brave volunteers are the first HD patients to ever be treated with drugs designed to attack HD at its root cause, a treatment approach with huge potential. What about this news has us so excited?
The last few years have been full of announcements about the results of clinical trials for HD drugs, but it can be surprisingly hard to understand what these results actually mean. What seems like a simple question – did a drug work or not – turns out to be more complicated than you'd expect. HDBuzz is here to help HD families untangle hope from hype when it comes to clinical trial announcements.
It’s like gardening gone wrong: scientists can sprinkle Huntington’s protein on the outside of laboratory-grown brain cells and make sticky, potentially harmful protein clumps grow inside the cells. Now, new research showing that human brain fluid does the same thing could help us monitor Huntington's disease.