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New drug targets for Huntington's identified

New drug targets for Huntington's identified
27th March 2008

New research has identified a number of possible drug targets for Huntington's disease.

Funded by the Wellcome Trust and carried out at Cambridge University, the research highlighted a number of drugs which encourage cells to "eat" the malformed proteins which are thought to cause the neurodegenerative condition through a process known as autophagy.

The research team, led by Dr David Rubinsztein showed that number of FDA-approved medications which are used to treat migraines and hypertension proved effective at stimulating autophagy in fruitflies and zebrafish.

"By screening a number of drugs that have already been shown to be safe in humans, we have been able to identify some unexpected and very promising pathways involved in Huntington's," says Professor Rubinsztein.

He added that further research is needed to assess whether the drugs will have the same implications for humans and potentially help delay the onset of Huntington's.

According to statistics from Netdoctor.co.uk, approximately 4,800 people in the UK suffer from Huntington's disease.

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