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

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Articles with the topic: aggregates

Huntingtin takes a trip: harmful proteins pass between brain cells

Huntingtin takes a trip: harmful proteins pass between brain cells

Leora Fox on June 06, 2016

Clumps of mutant huntingtin protein in brain cells are a hallmark of HD, and they build up slowly, occupying more and more cells over time. Recent research in mice shows that the harmful proteins can travel between neurons, setting off a chain reaction that leads to more sick cells and the development of symptoms.

A Few Bad Seeds: Using Brain Fluid to Grow Clumps in Brain Cells

A Few Bad Seeds: Using Brain Fluid to Grow Clumps in Brain Cells

Melissa Christianson on September 15, 2015

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.

Should we worry about a huntingtin invasion?

Should we worry about a huntingtin invasion?

Dr Jeff Carroll on October 27, 2014

New work in brain diseases like Alzheimer's suggests that brain cells called neurons might be 'catching' the sickness from their neighbors. A recently published paper suggests that, in very specific lab conditions, this might also happen in Huntington's disease. What does this mean for what we know about HD, and how to treat it?

Going toe-to-toe with tau: new insights into the chemical basis of Huntington’s disease

Going toe-to-toe with tau: new insights into the chemical basis of Huntington’s disease

Siddharth Nath on September 13, 2014

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.

Jumping genes: Huntington's disease protein invades brain transplants

Jumping genes: Huntington's disease protein invades brain transplants

Dr Jeff Carroll on May 26, 2014

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.

Raptor announces results of cysteamine trial for Huntington's disease

Raptor announces results of cysteamine trial for Huntington's disease

Dr Jeff Carroll on April 10, 2014

A chemical called cysteamine has long been of interest as a potential therapy for Huntington's disease. Now, Raptor Pharmaceuticals has announced the interim results of a study of cysteamine in HD patients. The trial failed to meet its pre-specified goal, but there are some interesting details in the data suggesting the ongoing trial deserves attention.

Sleep, cilia and HD

Sleep, cilia and HD

Graham Easton on March 06, 2014

Studies have shown that HD patients tend to get less efficient sleep, fewer hours of sleep, and wake up more times during the night. However, sleep in Huntington’s is under-researched because historically scientists have investigated HD as a disease of movement impairment, and sleep problems don’t seem to have anything to do with movement impairment.

Joint HDBuzz Prizewinner: Pennies for your neurons — copper’s bad influence on Huntington’s disease

Joint HDBuzz Prizewinner: Pennies for your neurons — copper’s bad influence on Huntington’s disease

Terry Jo Bichell on January 30, 2014

Copper, the metal, may play a role in worsening the symptoms of Huntington’s disease. Bing Zhou and his team looked for connections between HD and the amount of copper in neurons. They report that reducing copper in neurons or keeping it from binding to the HD protein improves symptoms.

DNA shutdown proteins in Huntington's disease:  More than meets the eye

DNA shutdown proteins in Huntington's disease: More than meets the eye

Melissa Christianson on December 16, 2013

DNA is the longest instruction manual on Earth. Because it's so long, cells use special helper proteins called HDACs to shut down sections of the manual they don’t use very often. Now, scientists have shown that interfering with one specific HDAC improves HD-related problems in cells and mice — but does so in an unexpected way.