Huntington’s Disease Overview
Recent Huntington’s disease advances show promising results in lab mice but first what is Huntington’s disease or (HD), it’s a deadly neurodegenerative illness that causes the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. It weakens a person’s physical and mental capabilities during their primary working years and has no cure. It’s an inherited disorder that typically starts in adulthood and is triggered by a gene that produces proteins that are poisonous to brain cells.
Huntington’s disease is known as the quintessential family illness because every child of a parent with HD has a 50/50 probability of transporting the defective gene. Today, there are nearly 30,000 symptomatic Americans and more than 200,000 at-risk of getting this disease.
Many describe the signs of Huntington’s disease as having ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s – concurrently. Signs usually appear between the ages of 30 to 50 and get worse over a 10 to 25-year time frame. Finally, the debilitated individual yields to pneumonia, heart failure or other problems.
Huntington’s Disease Symptoms Include
Personality changes, mood swings & depression, forgetfulness & impaired judgment, unsteady gait & involuntary movements (chorea), slurred speech, difficulty in swallowing & significant weight loss.
Everyone has the gene that causes Huntington’s disease, but only those that receive the expansion of the gene will progress into HD and perchance pass it on to each of their children. Every person who receives the expanded HD gene will ultimately develop the disease. Over time, HD affects the person’s capabilities to reason, walk and speak.
Huntington’s Disease Advances
Fortunately, scientists have shown Huntington’s disease advances in using the genetic testing known as CRISPR, the team was able to offer a permanent therapeutic treatment for this illness in mice.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, concentrated on mice engineered to develop Huntington’s disease, with signs like reduced movement developing when they are nine months old. The group then used CRISPR to alter the genes of the mice, and within three weeks, the mice had considerably improved, although not equal to that of a healthy mouse.
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