HD Research

HDSA: A Leader In Global HD Research

Since 1999, the HDSA has committed more than $18 million to fund research with the goal of finding effective treatments to slow Huntington’s disease.  Our past research efforts have also helped increase the number of scientists working on HD and have shed light on many of the complex biological mechanisms involved in HD.

In 1997, HDSA launched an innovative, new approach to tackle HD.  We brought together a group of some of the most well-known and prolific HD researchers from around the world to work together in teams to tackle large biological topics hypothesized to be involved in HD pathogenesis.  This team of researchers was called the Coalition for the Cure.  The Coalition Teams published important findings regarding the function of the huntingtin protein, potential new targets and pathways to treat HD and helped generate new animal models of HD to aid in HD drug discovery efforts.

While funding for the Coalition for the Cure ended in 2009, HDSA remains committed to continuing our long tradition of supporting HD research. With the unveiling of a new strategic plan for HDSA, we outlined key steps to take to bring research back to the HDSA portfolio.  In 2012, this plan was set into motion.

HDSA is now supporting initiatives in the following areas to answer critical research questions as they relate to the biology of HD, and have launched new initiatives to increase scientific communication:


Research News & Progress

Clinical Trial Participation

HD TrialFinder is a clinical trial matching service that identifies trials nationwide looking for people with your exact diagnosis, stage and treatment history. Hope for tomorrow begins with your involvement today! CLICK HERE

Observational Study Participation

Enroll-HD is a continuing global observational study of Huntington’s disease. The study collects a common set of data for all participants across all sites around the world that determine what interventions work to improve the care of people with HD, and assist researchers in developing more effective clinical trials. CLICK HERE

HDSA Scientific Advisory Board

The HDSA Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) is comprised of leading experts in their fields. The Scientific Advisory Board's role is to advise the Board of Trustees and HDSA Management on a range of issues. In general, the SAB provides scientific review of research proposals to ensure that the research programs at HDSA are scientifi­cally sound, pertinent and provide a high impact to the HD research community. The SAB can be called upon to advise HDSA on any scientific issues that may arise (e.g., stem cell policy, use of animals in research). CLICK HERE TO VIEW PROFILES OF BOARD MEMBERS

Further Reading

HD Insights, is a newsletter published the Huntington Study Group that promotes, disseminates, and facilitates research in Huntington disease by producing informative content that is valuable to the global community of HD researchers in academia and industry. CLICK HERE TO VIEW PAST PUBLICATIONS

HDBuzz.net is the first internet portal for the rapid dissemination of high-quality Huntington’s disease (HD) research news to the global community, written in plain language, by HD clinicians and scientists. It covers laboratory and clinical research, with the aim of helping HD people to understand the latest HD science, on their own terms. All content is disseminated from hdbuzz.net via free syndication to other HD community websites, blogs and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. CLICK HERE TO VISIT HDBUZZ.NET


Researchers, clinicians and other HD healthcare professionals frequently need to solicit input from the HD patients, families and caregivers about topics such as genetic testing, symptoms and clinical trial participation through anonymous surveys.  The results of these surveys are used to help guide future HD care and research strategies. Here you will find information on surveys being performed by the HD research community that would benefit from your feedback.
HDSA only provides information on Institutional Review Board (IRB) approved surveys.  The surveys provide an opportunity for individuals to participate in the research process.  If you have a question about any of the surveys listed here, please contact the study coordinators directly.

Effect of optimism, illness perceptions and disease stage on quality of life in individuals with Huntington’s disease

Hello, my name is Neli Dragneva and I am a third-year psychology student at Liverpool Hope University. This study is for my dissertation which is investigating the effects of optimism, disease duration and illness perceptions (beliefs) on quality of life in adults affected by Huntington’s disease. In order to be eligible to participate, you must…


Psychological well-being among those who are at risk from, or who have tested positive for Huntington’s Disease (HD)HD well-being

Researchers from the University of Leicester in the UK, alongside HD clinicians, are trying to find out about psychological well-being among those who have tested positive for HD (whether symptomatic or not), and those at-risk of HD. The aim of this research is to help understand how people living with HD might best be supported…


Caregiving Across the Lifespan

Dr. Kim Shifren of Towsen University in Maryland is conducting a study on caregivers across the lifespan. If you have provided care for a parent or adult relative with Huntington’s disease, then you may be eligible to participate in this study. The study takes about 30 minutes to complete and includes self-assessment of caregiver experiences,…


Huntington Disease Survey

We invite you to participate in a research study conducted by investigators at The University of Pennsylvania. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the knowledge and perception of individuals towards gene therapy for Huntington’s Disease (HD).This survey is meant to obtain information about an individual’s beliefs and attitudes towards gene therapy for HD….


Juvenile HD Survey

Investigators at the University of Iowa are conducting a study about symptoms of Juvenile Huntington’s Disease (JHD) that may occur frequently, but are poorly recognized by health care professionals.   We are inviting adults who have been the primary caretaker for someone who has been diagnosed with JHD to complete an online survey to describe…


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