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

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Articles with the topic: animal-model

Important advances in next generation genome editing tools for Huntington's Disease

Important advances in next generation genome editing tools for Huntington's Disease

Mr. Shawn Minnig on October 31, 2016

Recent days have seen a slew of news emerging regarding the use of something called genome editing as a potential therapy for genetic diseases like Huntington's Disease. These approaches, which include exotic sounding tools like zinc finger nucleases and CRISPR/Cas9, differ from more traditional ways reducing the impact of the HD mutation on cells. What's new in this exciting area of research?

Early exposure to the HD protein may cause life-long symptoms

Early exposure to the HD protein may cause life-long symptoms

Mr. Shawn Minnig on June 28, 2016

When the ‘healthy’ HD gene functions as it should, one of its many jobs is in the development of normal embryos. Researchers have long assumed that the ‘mutant’ HD gene inherited by people with HD is still able to do this job, since HD patients develop normally and don’t show signs until later in life. A surprising new finding suggests we may have to think carefully about this assumption!

Harnessing the power of viruses to treat Huntington's disease

Harnessing the power of viruses to treat Huntington's disease

Leora Fox on February 03, 2016

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.

A recycled drug gives us new insight in to HD

A recycled drug gives us new insight in to HD

Leora Fox on December 15, 2015

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.

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.

Drug Improves Huntington’s Symptoms in Mice – and Their Offspring

Drug Improves Huntington’s Symptoms in Mice – and Their Offspring

Melissa Christianson on February 09, 2015

In Huntington’s Disease, one of the many problems arising from the disease mutation is that DNA gets folded incorrectly. A new study in mice reveals that a drug changing the way DNA folds may have beneficial effects in Huntington’s – even for the untreated offspring of treated individuals. This discovery could affect how we think about drug therapies for Huntington’s Disease.

mTORC1 tips the scales in Huntington’s disease mice

mTORC1 tips the scales in Huntington’s disease mice

Joseph Ochaba on January 27, 2015

What happens when you have a broken part in a machine? You fix it! A new study shows that increasing the activity a critical piece of machinery called ‘mTORC1’ in a mouse model of Huntington’s disease leads to improved motor problems and brain abnormalities associated with the disease. These recently published findings may offer scientists a new target for therapeutic development in HD.