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

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Articles with the topic: mouse-model

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!

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 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.

A multiple sclerosis drug that works for Huntington's disease: the real deal or too good to be true?

A multiple sclerosis drug that works for Huntington's disease: the real deal or too good to be true?

Melissa Christianson on November 24, 2015

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?

New tool to measure outcomes in Huntington’s Disease clinical trials

New tool to measure outcomes in Huntington’s Disease clinical trials

Megan Krench on September 03, 2015

When patients participate in clinical trials, there needs to be some type of readout to determine whether the new treatment worked. It’s important to know two key things: What to measure and how to measure it. In the case of HD, these obstacles have vexed scientists and doctors for years. The latest research comes up with a clever new approach to overcome both challenges in a new way. These results could offer a valuable tool to study new HD therapeutics entering clinical trials.

A faulty filter? Blood vessel changes in Huntington's disease

A faulty filter? Blood vessel changes in Huntington's disease

Melissa Christianson on May 13, 2015

Because brain cell death drives symptoms in Huntington’s disease, these cells steal the spotlight in disease-related research. But new research on the brain's blood supply has uncovered changes in HD that could be making it harder for the brain cells to cope with the disease.

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.