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Protein link to Huntington’s symptoms may yield new treatments

Protein link to Huntington’s symptoms may yield new treatments
31st October 2011

A protein linked to the timing and severity of symptoms of Huntington’s disease patients has been discovered by researchers at the Gladstone Institute.

Scientists have identified a form of misfolded protein in neurons that best predicts whether the neuron will die – a key development in Huntington’s syndrome.

It is hoped that the discovery will lead to new treatment pathways for the disease, in addition to similar conditions, such as Alzheimer’s.

Dr Steven Finkbeiner, senior investigator on the project, stated: “Effective treatments for diseases such as Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s have been slow to develop.

“We hope that our newfound understanding of precisely which misfolded proteins contribute to disease symptoms will speed up drug development.”

The discovery of compounds that appear to inhibit a signalling pathway in Huntington’s disease is also hoped to result in improved treatment and drug options.

Researchers at the UT Southwestern Medical Centre believe that the discovery of the compounds could lead to a drug therapy to help slow the progression of degenerative nerve disorders.

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