Welcome to the "Drugs and Supplements" section of the HOPES website! Articles within this section will frequently use the terms "treatment" and "cure." Please note, though, that the word "treatment" must not be confused with the word "cure," for there is currently no medical cure for Huntington's Disease (HD).
Serotonin (also known as 5-HT) is a neurotransmitter used to communicate important information between nerve cells. Serotonin is sometimes referred to as the “feel good” neurotransmitter owing to its association with elevated mood levels. It also has many other functions in the central nervous system including roles in sleep, depression, memory, pain, and aggression. Recent [...]
Aside from impaired energy production, damage to the mitochondria leads also to increased production of toxic molecules called free radicals. Compounds called antioxidants act as free radical scavengers by initiating reactions that make free radicals non-toxic to cells. Evidence indicates that damage by free radicals is a contributing factor to the pathology of HD. Consequently, [...]
The altered huntingtin protein responsible for HD has been shown to contain many more molecules of the amino acid glutamine than regular huntingtin. This abundance of glutamine is due to repetitive copies of the CAG codon in the Huntington gene. The extended glutamine tracts of these proteins have affinity for one another, and tend to [...]
Compounds that have the ability to regulate the transcription of specific sets of genes are being proposed as possible candidates for treating HD. Some of these compounds may be able to regulate genes to produce proteins that could delay various HD symptoms. For example, some of the drugs could induce the transcription of genes responsible for the production of proteins with anti-inflammatory effects.
Autophagy is a process by which a cell breaks down and recycles its own components. In normally functioning animal cells, autophagy occurs at a very low level. Autophagy pathways are activated when a cell is running low on nutrients. The cell breaks down already existing proteins and other cell components into their basic building block [...]
Inflammation, what we commonly know as the swelling, redness, heat, and pain that often accompany injuries, is one of our body’s most important natural defense mechanisms against internal and external threats. The inflammatory process protects our body from damage and disease by releasing cells and mediators that combat foreign substances and help prevent infection. However, [...]
Glutamate is a powerful excitatory neurotransmitter that is released by nerve cells in the brain. It is responsible for sending signals between nerve cells, and under normal conditions it plays an important role in learning and memory. There are two general ways, however, that glutamate can actually be damaging to nerve cells and the brain [...]
The X-Linked Inhibitor of Apoptosis Protein (XIAP) gene is a gene present in normal body cells that inhibits the activity of caspases 9, 3, and 7. A caspase is an enzyme that degrades proteins and is involved in certain types of cell death, also known as apoptosis.