- Celebrate #GivingTuesday with HDSA!
- HDSA-funded researchers in the news
- Palliative Care for HD

At HDSA, we’re grateful for your commitment to HDSA’s vision of a world free of Huntington’s disease and for your engagement in research – it’s how medicine moves forward. If you’re a reader of this blog, you’re actively choosing to stay informed about HD news, HD science, and HDSA research activities, and we thank you for trusting HDSA as a source. The more awareness we can raise within our community about evidence-based research, the greater the participation, and the faster the field can move towards effective treatments for HD.   

Celebrate #GivingTuesday with HDSA on November 29th! The generosity of the HDSA family allows us to fund HD researchers in their efforts to understand and treat HD, bring together HD advocates to help pharmaceutical companies understand the HD experience, support experts in HD clinical care through HDSA’s Center of Excellence Program, and increase community research activity and education with resources like HD Trialfinder, research webinars, The Marker, the research blog, and more. Your participation and support – at any level – will have a far-reaching impact on our ability to continue and expand help and hope to HD families everywhere. Click here to learn how to participate, and keep reading to learn about the progress that your giving can create!  

HDSA Researchers in the news  

HDSA funds emerging leaders in HD research as they endeavor to complete ambitious projects that further our knowledge of the disease and ways to treat it. But HDSA research grants are often just the beginning of a scientist’s career; fellows often go on to make impactful contributions to the field after their awards have drawn to a close. Check out these recent publications from past HDSA fellows:  

  • 2014 HDSA Human Biology Project Fellow, Dr. Sonia Podvin, recently contributed to a project that mapped how both healthy (HTT) and mutant huntingtin (mHTT) protein interact with other proteins in the body. The study found that HTT and mHTT interact with over 2,971 proteins to various effects, which indicates that mHTT can have toxic effects by disrupting numerous cellular processes over the course of HD. This study is an open resource for all researchers studying potential pathways of disease progression in HD.  
  • 2016 HDSA Human Biology Project fellow, Dr. Veronica Brito, has studied how a change to RNA metabolism brought on by HD may contribute to degeneration of the brain over the course of the disease. This study looked at how alterations to this specific pathway in HD mice affected changes to learning and memory related to HD onset. This pathway could be a new target for treating cognitive symptoms of HD.  
  • Dr. Ali Khoshnan from the California Institute of Technology, a 2015 HDSA Human Biology Project Fellow, studies how changes in gut microbiota affects symptoms of HD in fruit flies. This recently published study shows that infection with E. Coli, a common bacterial infection in humans, results in more rapid onset of symptoms in HD flies.  

Palliative Care for HD Clinical Practice 

Palliative care aims to maximize quality of life and minimize negative symptoms and side effects for a person facing a chronic or terminal condition. This approach to care incorporates patient-centered goals for care, long-term care planning for advanced disease stages, and other strategies to empower the individual receiving care. Clinicians at the HDSA Center of Excellence at the University of Virginia developed a pilot program for implementing palliative care practices in an interdisciplinary HD clinic. They found that implementing these strategies improved communication between clinicians and individuals receiving care when it came to difficult conversations and advanced care planning. To read the full publication, click here.