This week, HDSA is celebrating National Volunteer Appreciation Week. This goes for research, too! We’d like to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who lends a hand to make HDSA’s work possible and contributes to the progress of HD science. Our understanding and our ability to treat HD is constantly expanding because of extraordinary volunteers who participate in research studies and online surveys, or who help a loved one to participate. Thanks to the scientists who volunteer their time to speak at our research webinars, the students around the country who volunteer their time in HD laboratories, and our amazing network of chapters and affiliates whose educational and social events help people to learn about current research and future opportunities. Thanks to all the readers of this blog who take the time to tune in and spread the information and hope.
An inside look at mHTT in the brain
A group of researchers from Columbia University, including 2018 HDSA Human Biology Project Fellow, Dr. Richard Hickman, recently published an article looking at how mutant huntingtin protein (mHTT) is distributed in the brains of people with HD. Using donated brain tissue from people with HD, the researchers were able to see how toxic clumps of mHTT were distributed across different regions of the brain. The study revealed that the amount of toxic mHTT clumps in human brain tissues had more to do with CAG repeat expansion than with severity of HD symptoms. This research is supportive of experimental therapeutic approaches currently in development that target CAG repeat expansion as a way to stop HD.
Music Therapy for HD
Researchers at the HDSA Center of Excellence at the University of Colorado are studying how music therapy can be implemented to improve fine motor skills in people with Huntington’s disease. If you are 30 years or older and have been diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, you may be eligible to join. To learn more, view the study flyer, contact Karrie Hardin at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit HD Trialfinder.org.