Navigation Links
Protecting the brain from a deadly genetic disease
Date:2/23/2010

Huntington's disease (HD) is a cruel, hereditary condition that leads to severe physical and mental deterioration, psychiatric problems and eventually, death. Currently, there are no treatments to slow down or stop it. HD sufferers are born with the disease although they do not show symptoms until late in life. In a new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience, Stephen Ferguson and Fabiola Ribeiro of Robarts Research Institute at The University of Western Ontario identified a protective pathway in the brain that may explain why HD symptoms take so long to appear. The findings could also lead to new treatments for HD.

The symptoms of Huntington's disease are caused by cell death in specific regions of the brain. Patients who have HD are born with a mutated version of the protein huntingtin (Htt), which is thought to cause these toxic effects. While researchers know HD results from this single, mutated protein, no one seems to know exactly what it does, why it does not cause symptoms until later in life, or why it kills a specific set of brain cells, even though Htt is found in every single cell in the human body.

Ferguson and Ribeiro used a genetically-modified mouse model of HD to look at the effects of mutated Htt on the brain. "We found there was some kind of compensation going on early in the life of these mice that was helping to protect them from the development of the disease," says Ferguson, director of the Molecular Brain Research Group at Robarts, and a professor in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology at Western's Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry. "As they age, they lose this compensation and the associated protective effects, which could explain the late onset of the disease."

Ferguson adds that metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), which are responsible for communication between brain cells, play an important role in these protective effects. By interacting with the mutant Htt protein, mGluRs change the way the brain signals in the early stages of HD in an attempt to offset the disease, and save the brain from cell death. As a result, mGluRs could offer a drug target for HD treatment.

Because HD is a dominant genetic disease, every child with an affected parent has a 50 per cent chance of inheriting the fatal condition. This research, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, sheds light on the onset of HD and the potential role of a mutant protein in patients, paving the way for the development of new drug therapies.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kathy Wallis
kwallis3@uwo.ca
519-661-2111 x81136
University of Western Ontario
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Protecting the brain from of a deadly genetic disease
2. Protecting patients: Study shows that Johns Hopkins flu vaccination rates twice national average
3. Company Dedicated to Protecting American Homes Reaches Out To Haitians Who Have Lost Theirs
4. IntelliSoft Group Focuses on Protecting Customer Investment in Medical Credentialing Systems -- Budget Constraints and Forced Upgrades in Medical Credentialing Automation
5. Statement Regarding Cardinal Rigalis Memo Protecting the Status Quo On Life
6. Its Healthy Aging Month: SCAN Health Plan Arizona Offers Insight and 10 Simple Steps for Protecting Your Health
7. Americans United for Life Applauds Decision Protecting Women From Dangers of RU-486
8. Protein plays unexpected role protecting chromosome tips
9. Americans United for Life Applauds Fourth Circuit Protecting Women and Children by Upholding Virginia Partial Birth Abortion Statute
10. Mayo Genomic Discovery: Protecting Kidney Function During Heart Failure
11. While the Dangers of Sun Exposure are Widely Understood Americans Fall Short of Adequately Protecting Themselves from the Sun
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... The Wharton School of the University ... of the 2016 Wharton Business Plan Competition —as well as the Wharton ... the Committee Award for Most ‘Wow Factor,’ making them the first team in ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... , ... Dr. Robert Mondavi, one of the dentists in Torrance , ... fast-growing field as more patients are discovering the many different ways they can change ... currently available to them and which ones might work for their smiles. , ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... Innovations with Ed Begley Jr., ... episode, airing third quarter 2016 via Discovery Channel. Dates and show times TBA. ... Products, located in Greenwood, Wisconsin applies product research and development and continuous technological ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... Village, CA (PRWEB) , ... April 29, 2016 ... ... Philadelphia Pet Expo to promote their animal line of probiotics, Petbiotics ™, ... see the large turnout of animal rescue groups networking for their non-profit organizations. ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Intellitec Solutions will be a sponsor at ... the Broward County Convention Center. The event is a chance for finance professionals ... public facility management. Intellitec Solutions will highlight their customized accounting solutions designed for ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... -- Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ORMP ... the development of oral drug delivery systems, announced today that ... presented by Joseph Gunnar & Co. LLC, taking ... . Nadav Kidron , CEO of Oramed, will ... Presentation Details:   PIONEERS 2016, presented by ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... Mass., April 27, 2016  Hologic, Inc. (Nasdaq: ... financial results for the fiscal second quarter ended ... (EPS) of $0.24 increased 41.2%, and non-GAAP diluted ... million increased 5.8% on a reported basis, and ... "We posted another good quarter, highlighted by ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... York , April 27, 2016 ... report titled, "Skincare Devices Market - Global Industry Analysis, ... According to the report, the global skincare devices market ... is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 10.1% ... in 2023. Browse the full Skincare Devices Market ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: