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New insights into how Huntington's disease attacks the brain

ly contribute to brain cell death in a living mouse model of Huntington's disease," said Yang.

Yang's team is now trying to pinpoint which of the neighboring cells generate Huntington's disease.

"Our next step will be determining how neighboring cells influence target cells and cause their death," he said. "Once we understand how these cells interact, the knowledge may lead to new therapeutic strategies to treat Huntington's disease."

Huntington's disease is a genetic brain disorder that usually strikes in mid-life, but can also attack the elderly and children as young as 2. Slowly depriving a person of their ability to think, speak, walk and swallow, the disease robs the person of their independence, leading to death within 10 to 25 years.

Every carrier of the HD gene mutation will develop the disease. Each child of a parent with Huntington's disease possesses a 50 percent risk of inheriting the illness. In the United States, the disease strikes 30,000 people and places another 150,000 persons at risk. The disorder affects males and females equally and crosses all ethnic and racial boundaries.


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Source:University of California - Los Angeles


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