The prestigious journal Nature publishes both research reports and journalistic articles, and is widely read by scientists and non-scientists. This week, Nature published an Outlook edition specifically related to Huntington’s disease. The articles explore how scientists are approaching the biology of HD and Juvenile HD, invite perspectives from at-risk and affected individuals, discuss huntingtin-lowering therapies and how outcomes can be best measured, and touch upon the future of CRISPR technology. It’s great exposure for the community at an exciting time in HD research.
Understanding Heart Disease and HD
Heart disease is a major health risk in people with HD, but it’s not well understood why. Recent research by Dr. Beverly Davidson’s team at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia explored this question. They discovered that mutant huntingtin may put extra stress on the heart by interfering with a protein important for growth and metabolism, called mTORC1. When the scientists gave a genetic boost to the activity of mTORC1 in HD mice, their heart health improved. Studying how other organs are affected by HD is a whole-body approach that could provide insight into biological pathways that might be targeted to improve health and quality of life for people with HD.
May is HD Awareness Month
It’s not too late to share your story about participating in HD research! Join the #HDSAFamily as we turn up the global volume on HD awareness. Visit www.HDSA.org/letstalkaboutHD for more info.