Researchers led by Ray Truant at McMaster University in Canada are investigating how DNA repair could help correct some of the damage caused by mutant huntingtin. They tested a molecule that is processed by the body to signal that DNA repair needs to take place. Giving mice high levels of this molecule helped to improve HD-like symptoms, which is a good sign that this pathway could be a useful drug target. Read more about their findings here.
New HD Pig Model Replicates the Human Condition
In the 1990s, mouse models opened the door to a library of knowledge about the biology of Huntington’s disease. In fact a wide variety of animals has long supported HD research, including rats, flies, worms, birds, and sheep. Recently scientists created a pig model that shows symptoms and damage to nerve cells, mimicking the human condition more than other models have been capable of. Because the pig brain is similar to the size of a human’s, it may be useful not only to test how treatments affect symptoms, but to test how effectively we can get drugs into the brain. Read more in the recent article from HDBuzz.
Spotlight on an HDSA Researcher: Dr. Madeleine Sharp
This week, meet Dr. Madeleine Sharp, an HDSA fellow funded through the HDSA Human Biology Project. Her work focuses on the cognitive symptoms of Huntington’s Disease. Read our interview with Dr. Sharp here.