Brain Awareness Week is a (March 15th – 21st, 2021) is a global campaign to foster public enthusiasm and support for brain science, coordinated by the Dana Foundation. Every March, partners host imaginative activities in their communities that share the wonders of the brain and the impact brain science has on our everyday lives. Check out www.brainawarenessweek.org to learn more about virtual events all over the world and find resources for all ages to help kids and adults learn more about the brain and neuroscience research.
Novel Approach to Identifying Treatments for HD
Many academics and companies are focused on developing treatments for HD through the concept of huntingtin-lowering – the process of genetically decreasing the amount of harmful huntingtin in the brain. However, there are other avenues of research being explored to treat the symptoms and source of HD (you can explore many of these on HDSA’s website and at www.hdtrialfinder.org).
This week a biotech company called Alchemab put out a press release about a new approach to HD, for which they were awarded a UK Biomedical Catalyst early award grant from Innovate UK. Their approach is to study individuals with slower-progressing HD and identify antibodies present in their bodies that may be protective against some of the changes caused by HD. Over the next couple of years Alchemab will study these antibodies, identify the most potent ones, and determine if any of them could have potential as a treatment for people with faster-progressing HD.
Although this approach is in the early stages of development, it’s nevertheless exciting to hear about a novel idea in the field of HD research, one that has momentum and financial support.
Research Participation Opportunities in Houston
Two Huntington’s disease clinical studies are currently recruiting at the HDSA Center of Excellence at UT Health Sciences Center at Houston. If you are in or near the Houston area, consider learning more!
One study involves treatment with melatonin to potentially improve sleep quality in people with HD. This study is funded through the HDSA COE Pilot Grants program. The other study involves a drug called Nuedexta® that could treat HD-related irritability. These studies are being led by Dr. Erin Furr-Stimming, Director of the HDSA Center of Excellence at UT Health Sciences Center at Houston, and Dr. Natalia Pessoa-Rocha, a former HDSA Human Biology Fellow.
To learn more about the sleep study and how to participate, click here.
To learn more about the irritability study, click here.