Huntington's disease could have a significant effect on metabolism, meaning that sufferers could be more likely to put on weight, according to new research.
Scientists injected the brains of mice with the mutated Huntington's protein and found that this led to a lesser ability to regulate metabolism, according to the research published in journal Cell Metabolism.
Researcher Asa Petersen at Lund University said that once the protein was injected, the behaviour of the mice changed immediately and they began to eat much more and became very overweight.
"We have now been able to prove that there is a causal relationship between this mutated protein in the hypothalamus and weight gain. The changes we see in the mice's brains are similar to those we have previously observed in the brains of Huntington’s patients," she stated.
According to NHS Choices, around six to seven people per 100,000 in the UK are living with Huntington's disease.