Huntington’s disease research news. In plain language. Written by scientists. For the global HD community.
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.
Many types of stresses occur within cells that have the HD gene, and examining how simple organisms cope can help scientists define new targets for HD drugs. A new study examines yeast to determine which proteins can protect these cells from damage and death, uncovering a protective antioxidant and a related drug.
A specific kind of damage called 'oxidative stress' may contribute to cells getting sick and dying in Huntington's disease. Previous reports had suggested that blood levels of a chemical marker of oxidative stress could be a 'biomarker' for HD clinical trials. But a newly-published work strongly suggests that it isn't a useful biomarker after all. Is this bad news?