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Enzyme over-expression may protect against neurodegeneration

Enzyme over-expression may protect against neurodegeneration
19th December 2011

Regulatory enzyme over-expression may protect against neurodegeneration in patients with Huntington's disease, according to a recent study.

Researchers at the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease have reported that a mutant huntingtin protein can bloc activity of Sirt1, one of a family of enzymes called sirtuins, that has been found to protect against mental decline in mouse models.

If the discovery is confirmed, treatment to increase brain levels of the enzyme will begin development

Dr Dimitri Krainc, senior author on the study, stated: "Diseases such as Huntington's, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease have different causative factors, but they share common themes – such as aggregation of misfolded proteins – and a unifying endpoint, the degenerative loss of neurons."

The discovery may be able to improve the neurodegenerative processes found in Huntington's and other aging disorders.

Sirt1 has long been identified as key to preventing the aging process, with some asserting that fasting and drinking wine can activate the enzyme.

Brown University Researchers also found that Sirt1 can help to keep people thinner.

Find out how Barchester works to create safe and understanding environments for those living with Huntington's disease