The onset of Huntington's disease could be delayed by improving the metabolism of the brain, new research has indicated.
Research carried out at the University of Central Florida found that an overactive protein in Huntington's patients triggers a chain reaction that causes brain nerve cells to die.
By lessening the activity of this protein, researchers were able to keep these brain cells alive.
Professor Ella Bossy-Wetzel, who led the research, said: "This could be done before the onset of disease in patients who have the mutant Huntington gene, but have no neurological symptoms."
The next step in research will be to test the function on humans and animals to see whether it will be successful in treating those with the condition.
Meanwhile, international research, led by the University of Leicester, has found new ways of treating Huntington's disease by utilising yeast to better understand the characteristics of the condition.