Huntingtons-Disease-Information-Page

Huntington's Disease Information Page


What research is being done?

A major focus of research on HD is to understand the toxicity of mutant huntingin protein to brain cells and to develop potential drugs for counteracting it. Animal models of the disorder allow scientists to study mechanisms of the disease and to move forward with strategies most likely to work and least likely to cause harm for individuals. The HD gene discovery is allowing scientists to recruit individuals who carry the HD gene into clinical studies early — before they become ill. Researchers hope to understand how the defective gene affects various structures in the brain and the body's chemistry and metabolism. Since some of the clinical symptoms in neurodegenerative diseases may be caused by the ultimate malfunctioning of neuronal circuits rather than by the loss of individual cells, scientists are using cutting-edge methods such as optogenetics (where neurons are activated or silenced in the brains of living animals using light beams) to probe the cause and progression of such circuit defects in HD. Scientists are also using stem cells to study disease mechanisms and test potential therapeutic drugs.


The NINDS-funded PREDICT-HD study seeks to identify biomarkers (biological changes that can be used to predict, diagnose, or monitor a disease) for HD. One goal of PREDICT-HD is to determine if the progression of the disease correlates with changes in brain scans images, or with chemical changes in blood, urine, or cerebrospinal fluid. A large and related NINDS-supported study aims to identify additional genetic factors in people that influence the course of the disease. Since individuals with the same CAG expansions can differ widely in the age of disease onset and severity of symptoms, researchers are trying to identify variations in the genomes of individuals with HD that account for those differences in the hopes that they will point to new targets for disease intervention and therapy.  

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Huntington's Disease

×
What research is being done?

A major focus of research on HD is to understand the toxicity of mutant huntingin protein to brain cells and to develop potential drugs for counteracting it. Animal models of the disorder allow scientists to study mechanisms of the disease and to move forward with strategies most likely to work and least likely to cause harm for individuals. The HD gene discovery is allowing scientists to recruit individuals who carry the HD gene into clinical studies early — before they become ill. Researchers hope to understand how the defective gene affects various structures in the brain and the body's chemistry and metabolism. Since some of the clinical symptoms in neurodegenerative diseases may be caused by the ultimate malfunctioning of neuronal circuits rather than by the loss of individual cells, scientists are using cutting-edge methods such as optogenetics (where neurons are activated or silenced in the brains of living animals using light beams) to probe the cause and progression of such circuit defects in HD. Scientists are also using stem cells to study disease mechanisms and test potential therapeutic drugs.


The NINDS-funded PREDICT-HD study seeks to identify biomarkers (biological changes that can be used to predict, diagnose, or monitor a disease) for HD. One goal of PREDICT-HD is to determine if the progression of the disease correlates with changes in brain scans images, or with chemical changes in blood, urine, or cerebrospinal fluid. A large and related NINDS-supported study aims to identify additional genetic factors in people that influence the course of the disease. Since individuals with the same CAG expansions can differ widely in the age of disease onset and severity of symptoms, researchers are trying to identify variations in the genomes of individuals with HD that account for those differences in the hopes that they will point to new targets for disease intervention and therapy.  

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Huntington's Disease

A major focus of research on HD is to understand the toxicity of mutant huntingin protein to brain cells and to develop potential drugs for counteracting it. Animal models of the disorder allow scientists to study mechanisms of the disease and to move forward with strategies most likely to work and least likely to cause harm for individuals. The HD gene discovery is allowing scientists to recruit individuals who carry the HD gene into clinical studies early — before they become ill. Researchers hope to understand how the defective gene affects various structures in the brain and the body's chemistry and metabolism. Since some of the clinical symptoms in neurodegenerative diseases may be caused by the ultimate malfunctioning of neuronal circuits rather than by the loss of individual cells, scientists are using cutting-edge methods such as optogenetics (where neurons are activated or silenced in the brains of living animals using light beams) to probe the cause and progression of such circuit defects in HD. Scientists are also using stem cells to study disease mechanisms and test potential therapeutic drugs.


The NINDS-funded PREDICT-HD study seeks to identify biomarkers (biological changes that can be used to predict, diagnose, or monitor a disease) for HD. One goal of PREDICT-HD is to determine if the progression of the disease correlates with changes in brain scans images, or with chemical changes in blood, urine, or cerebrospinal fluid. A large and related NINDS-supported study aims to identify additional genetic factors in people that influence the course of the disease. Since individuals with the same CAG expansions can differ widely in the age of disease onset and severity of symptoms, researchers are trying to identify variations in the genomes of individuals with HD that account for those differences in the hopes that they will point to new targets for disease intervention and therapy.  

Information from the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus
Huntington's Disease


Definition
Definition
Treatment
Treatment
Prognosis
Prognosis
Clinical Trials
Clinical Trials
Organizations
Organizations
Publications
Publications
3960 Broadway
6th Floor
New York, NY 10032
Tel: 212-928-2121
505 Eighth Avenue
Suite 902
New York, NY 10018
Tel: 212-242-1968; 800-345-HDSA (4372)