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

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Articles with the topic: laboratory

Could a new "jaw-dropping" breakthrough help treat Huntington's Disease?

Could a new "jaw-dropping" breakthrough help treat Huntington's Disease?

Dr Jeff Carroll on February 25, 2016

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.

Illuminating the progression of Huntington’s disease

Illuminating the progression of Huntington’s disease

Dr Tamara Maiuri on June 25, 2014

Huntington’s disease (HD) progression is a long process in which the first changes in the brain happen well before we even see symptoms in patients. It makes sense to focus our efforts on treating the earliest changes, to nip the problem in the bud. But what are these changes and how can we target them? A recent study has literally shed some light on this question. By creating HD mice with glowing brain cells, researchers at the University of Nottingham Medical School and the Babraham Institute in the UK have found that some of the earliest changes happen before these cells start to die, in a region of the brain where HD researchers have never before thought to look.

New antibody reveals dangerous parts of huntingtin protein

New antibody reveals dangerous parts of huntingtin protein

Dr Jeff Carroll on November 17, 2011

Antibodies, produced by the body’s immune system to fight off infection, can also be used by scientists to study proteins. A new antibody has provided new insights into what causes neurons to die in Huntington's disease.

Meet the enemy: neutron ray reveals HD protein structure

Meet the enemy: neutron ray reveals HD protein structure

Dr Jeff Carroll on May 26, 2011

The mutant huntingtin protein forms clumps, or aggregates, in brain cells. Many scientists believe these clumps contribute to the death of these cells and symptoms in HD. Now scientists have used a beam of neutrons to study the earliest structures formed in these aggregates.

Focused drug screening leads to improved drugs to increase the rate of cellular recycling

Focused drug screening leads to improved drugs to increase the rate of cellular recycling

Dr Jeff Carroll on December 16, 2010

Build-up of unwanted chemicals in cells is one way the HD mutation causes damage to neurons. A cellular recycling process called autophagy is crucial to getting rid of these harmful chemicals. Now researchers have found a way of identifying safe drugs that can increase the rate of garbage disposal in HD.