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Researchers restore neuron function to brains damaged by Huntington's disease
Date:5/29/2012

disease process in detail. Being able to control disease development from such an early stage, using iPS cells, may provide important clues about the very start of disease development in HD. An animal model that closely imitates the real conditions of HD also opens up new and improved opportunities for drug screening.

"Having created a model that mimics HD progression from the initial stages of the disease provides us with a unique experimental platform to study Huntington's disease pathology" said Patrik Brundin, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative Science at Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), Head of the Neuronal Survival Unit at Lund University, Sweden, and co-author of the study.

Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative genetic disorder that affects muscle coordination and leads to cognitive decline and psychiatric problems. It typically becomes noticeable in mid-adult life, with symptoms beginning between 35 and 44 years of age. Life expectancy following onset of visual symptoms is about 20 years. The worldwide prevalence of HD is 5-10 cases per 100,000 persons. Key to the disease process is the formation of specific protein aggregates (essentially abnormal clumps) inside some neurons.


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Contact: Tim Hawkins
Tim.Hawkins@vai.org
616-234-5519
Van Andel Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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