Huntington’s disease research news. In plain language. Written by scientists. For the global HD community.
Deep brain stimulation - a procedure in which miniature electrodes that release pulses of electricity are implanted into the brain - sounds like something out of a scary science fiction movie. However, this sci-fi-like treatment may prove useful for reducing symptoms of uncontrollable movement known as chorea in patients with HD.
Prana Biotech has announced a phase 2 clinical trial in Huntington's disease patients in Australia and the USA. Here's what we know so far about the trial, the company, the drug and the friendship between copper and the mutant huntingtin protein.
In April, the American drug regulator told NeuroSearch it would need a further large clinical trial before its Huntington's disease symptom-control drug Huntexil would be licensed. Now the European regulator, the EMA, has said the same for European licensing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
2010 was a big year for the small Danish pharmacology company NeuroSearch and its experimental drug, Huntexil, which aims to improve the movements and coordination of people with HD symptoms. What have NeuroSearch's two clinical trials - MermaiHD in Europe and HART in the USA - told us about the possible benefits of Huntexil - and what is likely to happen next?