New Nerves Help Mice Stave Off Huntington-like Disease - Huntington disease (HD) is a genetic disease that causes the death of brain cells (neurons) in certain parts of the brain, including a region known as the striatum.

There is no cure for HD but medication and specific care methods can reduce or alleviate symptoms.

In a new study, Steven Goldman and colleagues at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, have identified a treatment strategy that slows disease progression in a mouse model of HD (R6/2 huntingtin transgenic mice), leading them to suggest that similar approaches might be of benefit to individuals with HD.

Adenoviral vectors carrying the BDNF and Noggin genes were injected into the brain of R6/2 mice and increased survival times compared with R6/2 mice not receiving this treatment. Increased survival was associated with a delay in the development of impaired function and was caused by the recruitment of new neurons to the striata.

The authors therefore suggested that the use of BDNF and Noggin to stimulate the development of new brain cells might be combined with current approaches for reducing and alleviating the symptoms of HD to benefit individuals with HD.

Article: Induction of neostriatal neurogenesis slows disease progression in a transgenic murine model of Huntington disease

Article based on information provided by: Journal of Clinical Investigation, Ann Arbor, Michigan U.S.A.
Adapted and published by:
Originally released on: September 25

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