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Huntington's disease breakthrough discovered

Huntington's disease breakthrough discovered
23rd April 2009

Scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) have taken a major step in understanding the reasons as to why Huntington's disease affects people in the way it does.

The condition is incurable at present and is characterised by a number of things, including involuntary movements, emotional insecurity and a loss of intellectual abilities, with children of parents with the disease having a 50 per cent chance of also inheriting it.

However, professor of gerontology at the USC Davis School of Gerontology Kelvin J A Davies stated that recent findings have found that RCAN1-1L, a form of the gene RCAN1, is found in much smaller amounts in the brains of those suffering from the disease.

Professor Davies said that through increasing levels of RCAN1-1L in a patient's brain, one can rescue cells from the toxic effects of Huntington's disease and could lead to new treatments in future.

Developments in technology to fight against the condition in the UK are aided by the Huntington's Disease Association, which operates out of Liverpool and provides information, support and local branches to sufferers and relatives.

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