Monday, June 25, 2012

Gene Silencer May Counter Huntington's Disease

A new gene-silencing strategy may help individuals with the devastating and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder Huntington's disease, a study reported in the June 21 Neuron suggests. Strands of DNA that are known to destroy the mutant Huntington gene—the cause of Huntington's disease—were infused into the brains of mouse models of Huntington's. The infusion was found to reduce levels of the mutant gene across brain regions of the study mice. The motor performance of the treated animals started improving within one month. Psychiatric and motor benefits lasted nine months.

Two mood stabilizers—lithium and valproate—may also hold therapeutic potential for Huntington's disease patients, other research on mouse models of the disorder suggests. For more information about this promising research, see Psychiatric News.

(Image: Sebastian Kaulitzki/


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