Fruit-based compound offers hope for Huntington's treatment

Fruit-based compound offers hope for Huntington's treatment

A naturally-occurring compound found in strawberries and other fruits and vegetables could slow the onset of Huntington's disease.

These are the findings of a new scientific study conducted by researchers at the Salk Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory.

Published in the latest edition of the Human Molecular Genetics journal, the study indicates that the substance fisetin can prevent cell death associated with Huntington's disease.

The experiment was carried out with fruit flies, and those that took the compound had longer and healthier lifespans than those that did not.

Study leader Dr Pamela Maher said that although it could not prevent development of the condition, it could still benefit people living with the disease.

"If patients know they have the mutation, then they could potentially start treatment before they start showing symptoms, which might be more effective than waiting for the symptoms to appear, as many do now," she added.

According to the Huntington's Disease Association, the hereditary disease affects nerve cells in the brain and causes physical mobility and cognitive problems.

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