The blood-brain barrier, a layer of cellular structures that blocks most molecules from entering the brain, poses a great challenge to scientists who are trying to send targeted treatments to this region, especially for neurological diseases. This barrier protects the brain from external invaders. Unfortunately, it does its job so well that targeting treatments to [...]
Saturday, November 10, 2012, marked the sixth annual Huntington’s Disease Clinical Research Symposium in Seattle, Washington. This event, organized by the Huntington Study Group, was open to the public and provided an opportunity for attendees to learn about the latest in clinical research and trials. Print PDF
Saturday, February 11, 2011, marked the ninth-annual HD research symposium at the University of California at San Francisco. The UCSF Memory and Aging Center and the HDSA Center of Excellence at UC Davis Medical Center partnered to present this free public conference where attendees could learn the latest in HD research.
Several HOPES members appeared at the event. This page gives a summary of the presentations they heard.
While Huntington’s disease is traditionally thought of as a disease of the brain, its effects are much more widespread: many people with HD lose a dangerous amount of weight, complicating a disease that is already complicated enough. Although weight loss is one of the most serious non-neurological problems of HD, scientists don’t fully understand why [...]
Since the Huntington’s Study Group first identified the mutation responsible for Huntington’s disease (HD) in 1993, there have been many studies conducted seeking to understand how this defective gene causes the drastic neurodegeneration seen in individuals with HD. It is known that the expansion of CAG repeats in the Huntington gene results in a misfolded [...]
HOPES summary of the talks from scientists and clinicians Note: This article includes references to Dimebon, which is no longer being considered as a potential treatment for HD after the HORIZON clinical trial showed that Dimebon was not better than a placebo. For more information, click here F. Clum, C. Garnett, T. Wang and A, [...]
As viable human brain tissue is not available for use in studying disease development and creating therapies for neurological disorders like Huntington’s disease (HD), researchers desperately needed an alternative cell source for this purpose. Embryonic stem cells fit this role but have many disadvantages, especially for treatments, including immune rejection by the recipient. Some of [...]
While stem cells have always been heralded as the future of cellular replacement therapies, recent stem cell research has explored the potential “bystander” or “paramedic” effects of stem cells, which use stem cells to repair damaged cells rather than replacing them. Bystander therapies do not require the stem cells to become the type of cell [...]
Despite predictions of transdifferentiation being a technology of the future, Dr. Marius Wernig’s lab at Stanford has recently discovered a method of reengineering neurons directly from fibroblasts by the the forced expression of transgenes. This is the same method by which induced pluriptent stem cells (iPSCs) are produced, and transdifferentiation, the engineering of cells so [...]
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a type of multipotent stem cell, meaning that they can give rise to many but not all types of cells in the body. MSCs secrete substances, including cytokines and growth factors, that are essential to cell growth and help repair damaged tissue. Researchers are still exploring the functions of human [...]