KINECT-HD2, the open-label extension of KINECT-HD, is seeking 30 new participants to join a study of valbenazine for chorea in Huntington’s disease. Valbenazine, which has previously been approved for treatment of the movement disorder tardive dyskinesia, reduces involuntary movements by lessening the amount of the chemical signal dopamine in the brain. This therapeutic is taken by mouth and will be evaluated in study participants for up to 112 weeks. If you are interested in participating, visit the KINECT HD2 website or [http://eyjmcm9tijowlcjhy2nlc3nhcm91cenvzguioijirfnbiiwiy3vsdhvyzunvzguioijlbi1vuyisimnvbnrlehqionsibgfuz3vhz2uiom51bgwsimnvdw50cnkiom51bgx9lcjmawx0zxiionsizglzzwfzzuleijoimjuwniisinn1ykrpc2vhc2vjrci6iji1mdgilcjkcnvncyi6w10simnvdw50cnkiolsivvnbiiwiq2fuywrhil19lcjmawvszhmiolsibmn0swqilcjwagfzzsisimz1bgxuaxrszsisimv4dgvybmfsvhjpywxjzcisinn0yxr1cyisimxvy2f0aw9ucyisil91asisim93bmvkqnkixswizxh0cmfqyxjhbxmionsiaxnucmlhbfnpdguiomzhbhnllcjzb3vyy2vnb2r1bguioijsaxn0aw5nin19/]HD TrialFinder for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Researcher Spotlight: Yasaman Gholamalipour, PhD
2020 Berman-Topper Career-Development Fellow, Dr. Yasaman Gholamalipour, shared with HDSA her cutting edge research in CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing and her passion for drug development in diseases without existing cures. To learn more about Yasi’s research and passion for HD research, read the full spotlight article here.
Could longer CAG repeats be a positive thing for people without HD?
In most people, the huntingtin (HTT) gene has less than 35 CAG repeats. But when someone has more than 39 CAG repeats in their HTT gene, it results in Huntington’s disease (HD). The general purpose of these CAG repeats remains unknown, but previous studies have suggested that longer CAG repeats may provide developmental benefits in people who fall below the threshold of HD. A study recently published in Diagnostics by researchers at the University of Florence evaluated the relationship between cognitive abilities and HTT CAG repeats in non-HD individuals, mostly in their 60s. These participants had thinking impairments, some self-perceived (still healthy but noticing some issues), and some diagnosed (having measurable difficulties). They all had CAG repeats in the range of about 15 to 30 (not causing HD), and during the study they underwent a range of cognitive, visual, and memory tests. The results showed that in people who were healthy but starting to notice some changes in their own thinking abilities, longer HTT CAG-lengths in the non-HD range led to better test scores. But in people with diagnosed mild cognitive problems, longer CAG repeats meant they did worse on the assessments. Essentially, longer CAGs are good when a person is healthy, but the advantage fails once they’re already experiencing issues with cognition. The study demonstrates a potential reason for the evolution of CAG repeats and is the first to indicate that the HTT gene is involved in cognitive function in diseases other than HD. Access the full research article here.