Huntington’s disease research news. In plain language. Written by scientists. For the global HD community.
HDBuzz is now live! Your source for Huntington’s disease research news, in plain language, written by scientists, for the global HD community. Reliable, impartial and free to share, HDBuzz will bring you solid reasons to have hope, by explaining latest news from the worldwide effort to find effective treatments for HD.
A drug used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease might be beneficial in HD through altering the balance of good and bad messages coming into neurons. New research in HD mice suggests that low doses of memantine might be best, and hopefully a planned trial of low-dose memantine in HD patients will give us the answer.
We all know that exercise and staying active are good for everyone, whether or not they are at risk of developing HD. A new study of lifestyle activities in people with the HD mutation suggests that staying active is even more important in HD, and that passive habits – especially during the teenage years – might be one factor that can cause earlier onset of HD symptoms.
The first in a monthly series of FAQ articles covering hot topics and burning issues in the science behind HD.
The search for better treatments for HD requires a lot of effort by researchers across the globe. Time is of the essence: the ideal time for a treatment for HD is yesterday. Scientific findings need to be made available sooner rather than later, so that others can build on what is already known. PLoS Currents HD is a new journal launched to speed up the process of scientific discovery in HD.
Dimebon, a drug developed in Russia as an anti-allergy medication, is under investigation as a possible treatment to improve thinking problems in HD. There was disappointment when a recent large trial of Dimebon to treat Alzheimer’s disease in the USA showed no benefit, but hope remains in HD where the DIMOND trial is continuing across Europe.
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.
It has long been known that HD causes brain shrinkage that can be detected using MRI scanning. But new findings from the PREDICT-HD study suggest that the brains of men with the HD might never reach the same size as the brains of people without the mutation during development. That suggests that the HD mutation might be exerting its effects even earlier than we thought.
A group of researchers working on ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) in yeast cells have found an unexpected genetic link between ALS and SCA-2, a disease in the same genetic family as HD. New links between these diseases might reveal new ways of approaching the search for treatments for diseases like HD.