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

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KMO inhibitor drug improves lifespan of Huntington's disease mice

KMO inhibitor drug improves lifespan of Huntington's disease mice

Dr Ed Wild on June 02, 2011

An enzyme called KMO, which alters the balance of harmful and protective brain chemicals, has been a focus of research into possible Huntington's disease treatments for several years. Now, the first positive results of a KMO inhibiting drug have been published in the scientific journal Cell. HDBuzz investigates...

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.

'Floating' gene-silencing drugs into the brain with exosomes

'Floating' gene-silencing drugs into the brain with exosomes

Dr Ed Wild on May 19, 2011

Many new drugs fail because they can’t get into the brain – a major hurdle to developing new Huntington’s disease treatments. Now, researchers have used exosomes – tiny bubbles produced naturally by some cells, to 'float' gene silencing drugs across the blood-brain barrier.

Improving Huntington's disease clinical trial recruitment through patient and family education

Improving Huntington's disease clinical trial recruitment through patient and family education

Dr Jeff Carroll on May 12, 2011

Trials of new treatments for Huntington's disease are happening, but proving whether a drug works requires lots of suitable volunteers. Surprisingly, finding enough volunteers is often difficult. Now a group of HD professionals has shown that education and outreach to patients in the community works well for boosting recruitment.

Chubby mice reveal the importance of the hypothalamus in Huntington's disease

Chubby mice reveal the importance of the hypothalamus in Huntington's disease

Dr Ed Wild on May 02, 2011

Weight loss, change in appetite and other metabolic abnormalities are major issues in Huntington's disease. Now, a Swedish team of researchers has used genetically engineered viruses, and some fat mice, to reveal the crucial role of a tiny brain region called the hypothalamus in the metabolic problems of HD.

The genetic 'gray area' of Huntington's disease: what does it all mean?

The genetic 'gray area' of Huntington's disease: what does it all mean?

Dr Nayana Lahiri on April 22, 2011

By popular request, a special feature article on the often confusing topic of 'intermediate alleles' and 'reduced penetrance' – the genetic 'gray area' that frequently comes up in discussions around genetic testing for Huntington's disease.

Dimebon fails in late-stage human HD clinical trial

Dimebon fails in late-stage human HD clinical trial

Dr Jeff Carroll on April 11, 2011

Dimebon, an experimental drug marketed by Medivation, fails to improve the symptoms of Huntington’s disease patients in the HORIZON trial. This is the end of the road for developing this drug for HD.

FDA: further trial needed for Huntexil approval in HD

FDA: further trial needed for Huntexil approval in HD

Dr Jeff Carroll on April 04, 2011

NeuroSearch, the developer of experimental Huntington's disease drug Huntexil, has reported on their meeting with the FDA. The FDA requires that another trial be conducted before Huntexil could be approved in the US.

Successful gene therapy trial in Parkinson’s Disease gives hope for HD

Successful gene therapy trial in Parkinson’s Disease gives hope for HD

Dr Jeff Carroll on March 31, 2011

Scientists have successfully used viruses to deliver genes to the brains of Parkinson’s Disease patients. The gene carried by the viruses improved the movement symptoms of patients receiving injections. This proves that gene therapy in the brain can work, providing hope for similar therapies in HD.