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Sample records for huntington disease brains

  1. Huntington's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an inherited disease that causes certain nerve cells in the brain to waste ... express emotions. If one of your parents has Huntington's disease, you have a 50 percent chance of ...

  2. Variation within the Huntington's disease gene influences normal brain structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark Mühlau

    Full Text Available Genetics of the variability of normal and diseased brain structure largely remains to be elucidated. Expansions of certain trinucleotide repeats cause neurodegenerative disorders of which Huntington's disease constitutes the most common example. Here, we test the hypothesis that variation within the IT15 gene on chromosome 4, whose expansion causes Huntington's disease, influences normal human brain structure. In 278 normal subjects, we determined CAG repeat length within the IT15 gene on chromosome 4 and analyzed high-resolution T1-weighted magnetic resonance images by the use of voxel-based morphometry. We found an increase of GM with increasing long CAG repeat and its interaction with age within the pallidum, which is involved in Huntington's disease. Our study demonstrates that a certain trinucleotide repeat influences normal brain structure in humans. This result may have important implications for the understanding of both the healthy and diseased brain.

  3. Huntington's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjermind, Lena Elisabeth; Law, Ian; Jønch, Aia

    2011-01-01

    In this open-label pilot study, the authors evaluated the effect of memantine on the distribution of brain glucose metabolism in four Huntington's disease (HD) patients as determined by serial 18-fluoro-deoxyglucose [F(18)]FDG-PET scans over a period of 3-4 months (90-129 days, with one patient...

  4. Deep brain stimulation in Huntington's disease: assessment of potential targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Mayur; Deogaonkar, Milind

    2015-05-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal-dominant neurodegenerative disorder that has very few effective therapeutic interventions. Since the disease has a defined neural circuitry abnormality, neuromodulation could be an option. Case reports, original research, and animal model studies were selected from the databases of Medline and PubMed. All related studies published up to July 2014 were included in this review. The following search terms were used: "Deep brain stimulation," "DBS," "thalamotomy," "pallidal stimulation," and "Huntington's Disease," "HD," "chorea," or "hyperkinetic movement disorders." This review examines potential nodes in the HD circuitry that could be modulated using deep brain stimulation (DBS) therapy. With rapid evolution of imaging and ability to reach difficult targets in the brain with refined DBS technology, some phenotypes of HD could potentially be treated with DBS in the near future. Further clinical studies are warranted to validate the efficacy of neuromodulation and to determine the most optimal target for HD. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Huntington's disease : quantifying structural brain changes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bogaard, Simon Johannes Adrianus van den

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this thesis was to find potential MRI biomarkers for Huntington’s disease (HD). Therefore, after an overview of the current literature on MRI biomarkers, followed by examinations of volumetric MRI, magnetization transfer imaging (MTI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and magnetic resonance

  6. Cognitive and Brain Reserve in Prodromal Huntington Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonner-Jackson, Aaron; Long, Jeffrey D.; Westervelt, Holly; Tremont, Geoffrey; Aylward, Elizabeth; Paulsen, Jane S.

    2013-01-01

    Background Huntington disease (HD) is associated with decline in cognition and progressive morphological changes in brain structures. Cognitive reserve may represent a mechanism by which disease-related decline may be delayed or slowed. The current study examined the relationship between cognitive reserve and longitudinal change in cognitive functioning and brain volumes among prodromal (gene expansion-positive) HD individuals. Methods Participants were genetically-confirmed individuals with prodromal HD enrolled in the PREDICT-HD study. Cognitive reserve was computed as the composite of performance on a lexical task estimating premorbid intellectual level, occupational status, and years of education. Linear mixed effects regression (LMER) was used to examine longitudinal changes on 4 cognitive measures and 3 brain volumes over approximately 6 years. Results Higher cognitive reserve was significantly associated with a slower rate of change on one cognitive measure (Trail Making Test, Part B) and slower rate of volume loss in two brain structures (caudate, putamen) for those estimated to be closest to motor disease onset. This relationship was not observed among those estimated to be further from motor disease onset. Conclusions Our findings demonstrate a relationship between cognitive reserve and both a measure of executive functioning and integrity of certain brain structures in prodromal HD individuals. PMID:23702309

  7. Impaired brain creatine kinase activity in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, S F; Hennessey, T; Yang, L; Starkova, N N; Beal, M F; Starkov, A A

    2011-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is associated with impaired energy metabolism in the brain. Creatine kinase (CK) catalyzes ATP-dependent phosphorylation of creatine (Cr) into phosphocreatine (PCr), thereby serving as readily available high-capacity spatial and temporal ATP buffering. Substantial evidence supports a specific role of the Cr/PCr system in neurodegenerative diseases. In the brain, the Cr/PCr ATP-buffering system is established by a concerted operation of the brain-specific cytosolic enzyme BB-CK and ubiquitous mitochondrial uMt-CK. It is not yet established whether the activity of these CK isoenzymes is impaired in HD. We measured PCr, Cr, ATP and ADP in brain extracts of 3 mouse models of HD - R6/2 mice, N171-82Q and HdhQ(111) mice - and the activity of CK in cytosolic and mitochondrial brain fractions from the same mice. The PCr was significantly increased in mouse HD brain extracts as compared to nontransgenic littermates. We also found an approximately 27% decrease in CK activity in both cytosolic and mitochondrial fractions of R6/2 and N171-82Q mice, and an approximately 25% decrease in the mitochondria from HdhQ(111) mice. Moreover, uMt-CK and BB-CK activities were approximately 63% lower in HD human brain samples as compared to nondiseased controls. Our findings lend strong support to the role of impaired energy metabolism in HD, and point out the potential importance of impairment of the CK-catalyzed ATP-buffering system in the etiology of HD. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  8. Huntington disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... President of the Florida Society of Neurology (FSN). Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. Huntington's Disease Read more Latest Health News Read more Health ...

  9. Role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuccato, Chiara; Cattaneo, Elena

    2007-04-01

    Neurotrophic factors are essential contributors to the survival of peripheral and central nervous system (CNS) neurons, and demonstration of their reduced availability in diseased brains indicates that they play a role in various neurological disorders. This paper will concentrate on the role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the survival and activity of the neurons that die in Huntington's disease (HD) by reviewing the evidence indicating that it involves profound changes in BDNF levels and that attempts to restore these levels are therapeutically interesting. BDNF is a small dimeric protein that is widely expressed in adult mammalian brain and has been shown to promote the survival of all major neuronal types affected in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Parkinson's disease (PD). Furthermore, cortical BDNF production is required for the correct activity of the corticostriatal synapse and the survival of the GABA-ergic medium-sized spiny striatal neurons that die in HD. We will highlight the available data concerning changes in BDNF levels in HD cells, mice and human postmortem samples, describe the molecular evidence underlying this alteration, and review the data concerning the impact of the experimental manipulation of BDNF levels on HD progression. Such studies have revealed a major loss of BDNF protein in the striatum of HD patients which may contribute to the clinical manifestations of the disease. They have also opened up a molecular window into the underlying pathogenic mechanism and new therapeutic perspectives by raising the possibility that one of the mechanisms triggering the reduction in BDNF in HD may also affect the activity of many other neuronal proteins.

  10. Learning about Huntington's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Mouse Models Of Huntington's Disease 1998 News Release Learning About Huntington's Disease What do we know about ... and treatment information. Hosted by the Dolan DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. Huntington's Outreach ...

  11. Increased brain tissue sodium concentration in Huntington's Disease - a sodium imaging study at 4 T.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reetz, Kathrin; Romanzetti, Sandro; Dogan, Imis; Saß, Christian; Werner, Cornelius J; Schiefer, Johannes; Schulz, Jörg B; Shah, N Jon

    2012-10-15

    The neuropathological hallmark of the autosomal dominantly inherited, neurodegenerative disorder Huntington's disease is progressive striatal loss starting several years prior to symptom manifestation. Magnetic resonance (MR) imaging has been widely used to detect altered structure in premanifest and early Huntington's disease. Given that neurodegeneration is likely preceded by substantial neuronal dysfunction, we used in vivo sodium MR imaging, which has been shown to be sensitive to cell death and viability, to investigate cellular and metabolic integrity of Huntington's disease brain tissue. We studied a total of thirteen healthy controls and thirteen Huntington's disease gene carriers (11 manifest and 2 premanifest). The manifest Huntington's disease group was subdivided into stages 1 and 2 according to their Total Functional Capacity scores. Clinical total motor and cognitive scores, as well as calibrated sodium and T1-weighted MR images were obtained with a 4 T Siemens MR scanner. Sodium images were acquired by means of a constant time imaging technique with an ultra-short "echo time". T1-weighted MR images were further analysed with voxel-based morphometry. The absolute total sodium concentration and grey matter values were measured in several Huntington's disease-specific and also non-specific areas. Statistical analysis of variance and Pearson correlation were applied. In Huntington's disease subjects, we found an increase of total sodium concentration of the entire brain compared to controls. Increased total sodium concentration values were found in structurally affected, but also in some non-affected, regions. The highest total sodium concentration values were found in the bilateral caudate, which was associated with caudate grey matter atrophy and CAG repeat length. In all Huntington's disease subjects we further found a profound increase of total sodium concentration in the putamen, pallidum, thalamus, hippocampus, insula, precuneus and occipital

  12. Altered brain mechanisms of emotion processing in pre-manifest Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Marianne J U; Warren, Jason D; Henley, Susie M D; Draganski, Bogdan; Frackowiak, Richard S; Tabrizi, Sarah J

    2012-04-01

    Huntington's disease is an inherited neurodegenerative disease that causes motor, cognitive and psychiatric impairment, including an early decline in ability to recognize emotional states in others. The pathophysiology underlying the earliest manifestations of the disease is not fully understood; the objective of our study was to clarify this. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate changes in brain mechanisms of emotion recognition in pre-manifest carriers of the abnormal Huntington's disease gene (subjects with pre-manifest Huntington's disease): 16 subjects with pre-manifest Huntington's disease and 14 control subjects underwent 1.5 tesla magnetic resonance scanning while viewing pictures of facial expressions from the Ekman and Friesen series. Disgust, anger and happiness were chosen as emotions of interest. Disgust is the emotion in which recognition deficits have most commonly been detected in Huntington's disease; anger is the emotion in which impaired recognition was detected in the largest behavioural study of emotion recognition in pre-manifest Huntington's disease to date; and happiness is a positive emotion to contrast with disgust and anger. Ekman facial expressions were also used to quantify emotion recognition accuracy outside the scanner and structural magnetic resonance imaging with voxel-based morphometry was used to assess the relationship between emotion recognition accuracy and regional grey matter volume. Emotion processing in pre-manifest Huntington's disease was associated with reduced neural activity for all three emotions in partially separable functional networks. Furthermore, the Huntington's disease-associated modulation of disgust and happiness processing was negatively correlated with genetic markers of pre-manifest disease progression in distributed, largely extrastriatal networks. The modulated disgust network included insulae, cingulate cortices, pre- and postcentral gyri, precunei, cunei, bilateral putamena

  13. Regional and cellular gene expression changes in human Huntington's disease brain

    OpenAIRE

    2006-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) pathology is well understood at a histological level but a comprehensive molecular analysis of the effect of the disease in the human brain has not previously been available. To elucidate the molecular phenotype of HD on a genome-wide scale, we compared mRNA profiles from 44 human HD brains with those from 36 unaffected controls using microarray analysis. Four brain regions were analyzed: caudate nucleus, cerebellum, prefrontal association cortex [Brodmann's area 9 (...

  14. Microstructural brain abnormalities in Huntington's disease : A two-year follow-up

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Odish, Omar F F; Leemans, A; Reijntjes, Robert H A M; van den Bogaard, Simon J A; Dumas, Eve M.; Wolterbeek, Ron; Tax, Chantal M W; Kuijf, Hugo J.; Vincken, Koen L.; van der Grond, Jeroen; Roos, Raymund A C

    2015-01-01

    Objectives: To investigate both cross-sectional and time-related changes of striatal and whole-brain microstructural properties in different stages of Huntington's disease (HD) using diffusion tensor imaging. Experimental design: From the TRACK-HD study, premanifest gene carriers (preHD), early mani

  15. Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping Suggests Altered Brain Iron in Premanifest Huntington Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Bergen, J M G; Hua, J; Unschuld, P G; Lim, I A L; Jones, C K; Margolis, R L; Ross, C A; van Zijl, P C M; Li, X

    2016-05-01

    In patients with premanifest (nonsymptomatic) and advanced Huntington disease, changes in brain iron levels in the basal ganglia have been previously reported, especially in the striatum. Quantitative susceptibility mapping by using MR phase imaging allows in vivo measurements of tissue magnetic susceptibility, which has been shown to correlate well with iron levels in brain gray matter and is believed to be more specific than other imaging-based iron measures. The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of magnetic susceptibility as a biomarker of disease progression. Fifteen subjects with premanifest Huntington disease and 16 age-matched healthy controls were scanned at 7T. Magnetic susceptibility, effective relaxation, and tissue volume in deep gray matter structures were quantified and compared with genetic and clinical measures. Subjects with premanifest Huntington disease showed significantly higher susceptibility values in the caudate nucleus, putamen, and globus pallidus, indicating increased iron levels in these structures. Significant decreases in magnetic susceptibility were found in the substantia nigra and hippocampus. In addition, significant volume loss (atrophy) and an increase effective relaxation were observed in the caudate nucleus and putamen. Susceptibility values in the caudate nucleus and putamen were found to be inversely correlated with structure volumes and directly correlated with the genetic burdens, represented by cytosine-adenine-guanine repeat age-product-scaled scores. The significant magnetic susceptibility differences between subjects with premanifest Huntington disease and controls and their correlation with genetic burden scores indicate the potential use of magnetic susceptibility as a biomarker of disease progression in premanifest Huntington disease. © 2016 by American Journal of Neuroradiology.

  16. Huntington's disease phenocopy syndromes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wild, Edward J; Tabrizi, Sarah J

    2007-12-01

    Patients presenting with features of Huntington's disease but lacking the causative genetic expansion can be challenging diagnostically. The differential diagnosis of such Huntington's disease phenocopy syndromes has not recently been reviewed. Cohort studies have established the relative frequencies of known Huntington's disease phenocopy syndromes, whereas newly described ones have been characterized genetically, clinically, radiologically and pathologically. About 1% of suspected Huntington's disease cases emerge as phenocopy syndromes. Such syndromes are clinically important in their own right but may also shed light on the pathogenesis of Huntington's disease. Huntington's disease produces a range of clinical phenotypes, and the range of syndromes that may be responsible for Huntington's disease phenocopies is correspondingly wide. Cohort studies have established that, while the majority of phenocopy patients remain undiagnosed, in those patients where a genetic diagnosis is reached the commonest causes are SCA17, Huntington's disease-like syndrome 2 (HDL2), familial prion disease and Friedreich's ataxia. We review the features of the reported genetic causes of Huntington's disease phenocopy syndromes, including HDL1-3, SCA17, familial prion disease, spinocerebellar ataxias, dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy, chorea-acanthocytosis and iron-accumulation disorders. We present an evidence-based framework for the genetic testing of Huntington's disease phenocopy cases.

  17. Selective vulnerability of Rich Club brain regions is an organizational principle of structural connectivity loss in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McColgan, Peter; Seunarine, Kiran K; Razi, Adeel; Cole, James H; Gregory, Sarah; Durr, Alexandra; Roos, Raymund A C; Stout, Julie C; Landwehrmeyer, Bernhard; Scahill, Rachael I; Clark, Chris A; Rees, Geraint; Tabrizi, Sarah J

    2015-11-01

    Huntington's disease can be predicted many years before symptom onset, and thus makes an ideal model for studying the earliest mechanisms of neurodegeneration. Diffuse patterns of structural connectivity loss occur in the basal ganglia and cortex early in the disease. However, the organizational principles that underlie these changes are unclear. By understanding such principles we can gain insight into the link between the cellular pathology caused by mutant huntingtin and its downstream effect at the macroscopic level. The 'rich club' is a pattern of organization established in healthy human brains, where specific hub 'rich club' brain regions are more highly connected to each other than other brain regions. We hypothesized that selective loss of rich club connectivity might represent an organizing principle underlying the distributed pattern of structural connectivity loss seen in Huntington's disease. To test this hypothesis we performed diffusion tractography and graph theoretical analysis in a pseudo-longitudinal study of 50 premanifest and 38 manifest Huntington's disease participants compared with 47 healthy controls. Consistent with our hypothesis we found that structural connectivity loss selectively affected rich club brain regions in premanifest and manifest Huntington's disease participants compared with controls. We found progressive network changes across controls, premanifest Huntington's disease and manifest Huntington's disease characterized by increased network segregation in the premanifest stage and loss of network integration in manifest disease. These regional and whole brain network differences were highly correlated with cognitive and motor deficits suggesting they have pathophysiological relevance. We also observed greater reductions in the connectivity of brain regions that have higher network traffic and lower clustering of neighbouring regions. This provides a potential mechanism that results in a characteristic pattern of structural

  18. Huntington's disease

    OpenAIRE

    Bates, G P; Dorsey, R.; Gusella, J F; Hayden, M. R.; Kay, C; Leavitt, B. R.; Nance, M; Ross, C A; Scahill, R. I.; Wetzel, R.; Wild, E. J.; Tabrizi, S.J.

    2015-01-01

    Huntington’s disease is devastating to patients and their families — with autosomal dominant inheritance, onset typically in the prime of adult life, progressive course and combination of motor, cognitive and behavioural features. The disease is caused by an expanded CAG trinucleotide repeat (of variable length) in HTT, the gene which encodes the protein huntingtin. In mutation carriers, huntingtin is produced with abnormally long polyglutamine sequences that confers toxic gains of function a...

  19. Huntington's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... seizures. More than 30,000 Americans have HD. Huntington’s disease is caused by a mutation in the gene for a protein called huntingtin. The defect causes the cytosine, adenine, and guanine (CAG) building blocks of DNA to repeat many more ...

  20. Neuroimaging in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niccolini, Flavia; Politis, Marios

    2014-06-28

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expanded trinucleotide CAG sequence in huntingtin gene (HTT) on chromosome 4. HD manifests with chorea, cognitive and psychiatric symptoms. Although advances in genetics allow identification of individuals carrying the HD gene, much is still unknown about the mechanisms underlying the development of overt clinical symptoms and the transitional period between premanifestation and manifestation of the disease. HD has no cure and patients rely only in symptomatic treatment. There is an urgent need to identify biomarkers that are able to monitor disease progression and assess the development and efficacy of novel disease modifying drugs. Over the past years, neuroimaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) have provided important advances in our understanding of HD. MRI provides information about structural and functional organization of the brain, while PET can detect molecular changes in the brain. MRI and PET are able to detect changes in the brains of HD gene carriers years ahead of the manifestation of the disease and have also proved to be powerful in assessing disease progression. However, no single technique has been validated as an optimal biomarker. An integrative multimodal imaging approach, which combines different MRI and PET techniques, could be recommended for monitoring potential neuroprotective and preventive therapies in HD. In this article we review the current neuroimaging literature in HD.

  1. Huntington's disease accelerates epigenetic aging of human brain and disrupts DNA methylation levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvath, Steve; Langfelder, Peter; Kwak, Seung; Aaronson, Jeff; Rosinski, Jim; Vogt, Thomas F; Eszes, Marika; Faull, Richard L M; Curtis, Maurice A; Waldvogel, Henry J; Choi, Oi-Wa; Tung, Spencer; Vinters, Harry V; Coppola, Giovanni; Yang, X William

    2016-07-01

    Age of Huntington's disease (HD) motoric onset is strongly related to the number of CAG trinucleotide repeats in the huntingtin gene, suggesting that biological tissue age plays an important role in disease etiology. Recently, a DNA methylation based biomarker of tissue age has been advanced as an epigenetic aging clock. We sought to inquire if HD is associated with an accelerated epigenetic age. DNA methylation data was generated for 475 brain samples from various brain regions of 26 HD cases and 39 controls. Overall, brain regions from HD cases exhibit a significant epigenetic age acceleration effect (p=0.0012). A multivariate model analysis suggests that HD status increases biological age by 3.2 years. Accelerated epigenetic age can be observed in specific brain regions (frontal lobe, parietal lobe, and cingulate gyrus). After excluding controls, we observe a negative correlation (r=-0.41, p=5.5×10-8) between HD gene CAG repeat length and the epigenetic age of HD brain samples. Using correlation network analysis, we identify 11 co-methylation modules with a significant association with HD status across 3 broad cortical regions. In conclusion, HD is associated with an accelerated epigenetic age of specific brain regions and more broadly with substantial changes in brain methylation levels.

  2. Is Huntington's disease a tauopathy?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gratuze, Maud; Cisbani, Giulia; Cicchetti, Francesca; Planel, Emmanuel

    2016-04-01

    Tauopathies are a subclass of neurodegenerative diseases typified by the deposition of abnormal microtubule-associated tau protein within the cerebral tissue. Alzheimer's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, chronic traumatic encephalopathy and some fronto-temporal dementias are examples of the extended family of tauopathies. In the last decades, intermittent reports of cerebral tau pathology in individuals afflicted with Huntington's disease-an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder that manifests by severe motor, cognitive and psychiatric problems in adulthood-have also begun to surface. These observations remained anecdotal until recently when a series of publications brought forward compelling evidence that this monogenic disorder may, too, be a tauopathy. Collectively, these studies reported that: (i) patients with Huntington's disease present aggregated tau inclusions within various structures of the brain; (ii) tau haplotype influences the cognitive function of Huntington's disease patients; and (iii) that the genetic product of the disease, the mutant huntingtin protein, could alter tau splicing, phosphorylation, oligomerization and subcellular localization. Here, we review the past and current evidence in favour of the postulate that Huntington's disease is a new member of the family of tauopathies. © The Author (2016). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Molecular Imaging of Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciarmiello, Andrea; Giovacchini, Giampiero; Giovannini, Elisabetta; Lazzeri, Patrizia; Borsò, Elisa; Mannironi, Antonio; Mansi, Luigi

    2017-08-01

    The onset and the clinical progression of Huntington Disease (HD) is influenced by several events prompted by a genetic mutation that affects several organs tissues including different regions of the brain. In the last decades years, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) helped to deepen the knowledge of neurodegenerative mechanisms that guide to clinical symptoms. Brain imaging with PET represents a tool to investigate the physiopathology occurring in the brain and it has been used to predict the age of onset of the disease and to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of new drugs. This article reviews the contribution of PET and MRI in the research field on Huntington's disease, focusing in particular on some most relevant achievements that have helped recognize the molecular changes, the clinical symptoms and evolution of the disease. J. Cell. Physiol. 232: 1988-1993, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. New Perspectives on the Neuropathology in Huntington's Disease in the Human Brain and its Relation to Symptom Variation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldvogel, Henry J; Kim, Eric H; Thu, Doris C V; Tippett, Lynette J; Faull, Richard L M

    2012-01-01

    We review recent investigations regarding the relationship between selective neurodegeneration in the human brain and the variability in symptom profiles in Huntington's disease. Huntington's disease is a genetic neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expanded CAG repeat in exon 1 of the Huntingtin gene on chromosome 4, encoding a protein called huntingtin. The huntingtin protein is expressed ubiquitously in somatic tissue, however, the major pathology affects the brain with profound degeneration in the striatum and the cerebral cortex. Despite the disease being caused by a single gene, there is a major variability in the neuropathology, as well as major heterogeneity in the symptom profiles observed in Huntington's disease patients. The symptoms may vary throughout the disease course and present as varying degrees of movement disorder, cognitive decline, and mood and behavioral changes. To determine whether there is an anatomical basis underlying symptom variation, recent studies on the post-mortem human brain have shown a relationship between the variable degeneration in the forebrain and the variable symptom profile. In this review, we will summarize the progress relating cell loss in the striatum and cerebral cortex to symptom profile in Huntington's disease.

  5. Transcranial magnetic stimulation of degenerating brain: a comparison of normal aging, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ljubisavljevic, M R; Ismail, F Y; Filipovic, S

    2013-07-01

    Although the brain's ability to change constantly in response to external and internal inputs is now well recognized the mechanisms behind it in normal aging and neurodegeneration are less well understood. To gain a better understanding, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has been used extensively to characterize non-invasively the cortical neurophysiology of the aging and degenerating brain. Furthermore, there has been a surge of studies examining whether repetitive TMS (rTMS) can be used to improve functional deficits in various conditions including normal aging, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The results of these studies in normal aging and neurodegeneration have emerged reasonably coherent in delineating the main pathology in spite of considerable technical limitations, omnipresent methodological variability, and extraordinary patient heterogeneity. Nevertheless, comparing and integrating what is known about TMS measurements of cortical excitability and plasticity in disorders that predominantly affect cortical brain structures with disorders that predominantly affect subcortical brain structures may provide better understanding of normal and abnormal brain aging fostering new. The present review provides a TMS perspective of changes in cortical neurophysiology and neurochemistry in normal aging and neurodegeneration by integrating what is revealed in individual TMS measurements of cortical excitability and plasticity in physiological aging, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's, disease. The paper also reflects on current developments in utilizing TMS as a physiologic biomarker to discriminate physiologic aging from neurodegeneration and its potential as a method of therapeutic intervention.

  6. Relationship between CAG repeat length and brain volume in premanifest and early Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henley, Susie M D; Wild, Edward J; Hobbs, Nicola Z; Scahill, Rachael I; Ridgway, Gerard R; Macmanus, David G; Barker, Roger A; Fox, Nick C; Tabrizi, Sarah J

    2009-02-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by an expanded CAG repeat on the gene encoding for the protein huntingtin. There are conflicting findings about the extent to which repeat length predicts signs of the disease or severity of disease progression in adults. This study examined the relationship between CAG repeat length and brain volume in a large cohort of pre- and post-motor onset HD gene carriers, using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), an approach which allowed us to investigate the whole brain without defining a priori regions of interest. We also used VBM to examine group differences between 20 controls, 21 premanifest, and 40 early HD subjects. In the 61 mutation-positive subjects higher CAG repeat length was significantly associated with reduced volume of the body of the caudate nucleus bilaterally, left putamen, right insula, right parahippocampal gyrus, right anterior cingulate, and right occipital lobe, after correcting for age. The group contrasts showed significant reduction in grey matter volume in the early HD group relative to controls in widespread cortical as well as subcortical areas but there was no evidence of difference between controls and premanifest subjects. Overall we have demonstrated that increased CAG repeat length is associated with atrophy in extra-striatal as well as striatal regions, which has implications for the monitoring of disease-modifying therapies in the condition.

  7. 1H magnetic resonance spectroscopy in preclinical Huntington disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Oostrom, Joost C. H.; Sijens, Paul E.; Roos, Raymund A. C.; Leenders, Klaus L.

    2007-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is a hereditary brain disease, causing progressive deterioration after a preclinical phase. The pathophysiology of early brain abnormalities around disease onset is largely unknown. Some preclinical mutation carriers (PMC) show structural or metabolic changes on brain imaging

  8. Treatment of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Samuel

    2014-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a dominantly inherited progressive neurological disease characterized by chorea, an involuntary brief movement that tends to flow between body regions. HD is typically diagnosed based on clinical findings in the setting of a family history and may be confirmed with genetic testing. Predictive testing is available to family members at risk, but only experienced clinicians should perform the counseling and testing. Multiple areas of the brain degenerate, mainly involving the neurotransmitters dopamine, glutamate, and γ-aminobutyric acid. Although pharmacotherapies theoretically target these neurotransmitters, few well-conducted trials for symptomatic interventions have yielded positive results and current treatments have focused on the motor aspects of HD. Tetrabenazine is a dopamine-depleting agent that may be one of the more effective agents for reducing chorea, although it has a risk of potentially serious adverse effects. Some newer neuroleptic agents, such as olanzapine and aripiprazole, may have adequate efficacy with a more favorable adverse effect profile than older neuroleptic agents for treating chorea and psychosis. There are no current treatments to change the course of HD, but education and symptomatic therapies can be effective tools for clinicians to use with patients and families affected by HD.

  9. Proteomic and oxidative stress analysis in human brain samples of Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorolla, Ma Alba; Reverter-Branchat, Gemma; Tamarit, Jordi; Ferrer, Isidre; Ros, Joaquim; Cabiscol, Elisa

    2008-09-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by expansion of CAG repeats in exon 1 of the huntingtin gene, affecting initially the striatum and progressively the cortex. This work reports a proteomic analysis of human brain postmortem samples obtained from striatum and cortex of patients with HD compared to samples of age- and sex-matched controls. Antioxidant defense proteins that were strongly induced in striatum, but also detectable in cortex, were identified as peroxiredoxins 1, 2, and 6, as well as glutathione peroxidases 1 and 6. The activities of other antioxidant enzymes such as mitochondrial superoxide dismutase and catalase were also increased in HD. Aconitase, a protein involved in energy metabolism, showed decreased activities in striatum of HD patients. Protein carbonyls, used as markers of oxidative stress, were increased in HD, and glial fibrillary acidic protein, aconitase, gamma-enolase, and creatine kinase B were identified as the main targets. Taken together, these results indicate that oxidative stress and damage to specific macromolecules would participate in the disease progression. Also, these data support the rationale for therapeutic strategies that either potentiate antioxidant defenses or avoid oxidative stress generation to delay disease progression.

  10. Large-scale brain network abnormalities in Huntington's disease revealed by structural covariance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minkova, Lora; Eickhoff, Simon B; Abdulkadir, Ahmed; Kaller, Christoph P; Peter, Jessica; Scheller, Elisa; Lahr, Jacob; Roos, Raymund A; Durr, Alexandra; Leavitt, Blair R; Tabrizi, Sarah J; Klöppel, Stefan

    2016-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that can be diagnosed with certainty decades before symptom onset. Studies using structural MRI have identified grey matter (GM) loss predominantly in the striatum, but also involving various cortical areas. So far, voxel-based morphometric studies have examined each brain region in isolation and are thus unable to assess the changes in the interrelation of brain regions. Here, we examined the structural covariance in GM volumes in pre-specified motor, working memory, cognitive flexibility, and social-affective networks in 99 patients with manifest HD (mHD), 106 presymptomatic gene mutation carriers (pre-HD), and 108 healthy controls (HC). After correction for global differences in brain volume, we found that increased GM volume in one region was associated with increased GM volume in another. When statistically comparing the groups, no differences between HC and pre-HD were observed, but increased positive correlations were evident for mHD, relative to pre-HD and HC. These findings could be explained by a HD-related neuronal loss heterogeneously affecting the examined network at the pre-HD stage, which starts to dominate structural covariance globally at the manifest stage. Follow-up analyses identified structural connections between frontoparietal motor regions to be linearly modified by disease burden score (DBS). Moderator effects of disease load burden became significant at a DBS level typically associated with the onset of unequivocal HD motor signs. Together with existing findings from functional connectivity analyses, our data indicates a critical role of these frontoparietal regions for the onset of HD motor signs.

  11. PACSIN 1 interacts with huntingtin and is absent from synaptic varicosities in presymptomatic Huntington's disease brains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modregger, Jan; DiProspero, Nicholas A; Charles, Vinod; Tagle, Danilo A; Plomann, Markus

    2002-10-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by a pathological expansion of a CAG repeat in the first exon of the gene coding for huntingtin, resulting in an abnormally long polyglutamine stretch. Despite its widespread expression, mutant huntingtin leads to selective neuronal loss in the striatum and cortex. Here we report that the neurospecific phosphoprotein PACSIN 1, which has been implicated as playing a central role in synaptic vesicle recycling, interacts with huntingtin via its C-terminal SH3 domain. Moreover, two other isoforms, PACSIN 2 and 3, which show a wider tissue distribution including the brain, do not interact with huntingtin despite a highly conserved SH3 domain. Furthermore, this interaction is repeat-length-dependent and is enhanced with mutant huntingtin, possibly causing the sequestration of PACSIN 1. Normally, PACSIN 1 is located along neurites and within synaptic boutons, but in HD patient neurons, there is a progressive loss of PACSIN 1 immunostaining in synaptic varicosities, beginning in presymptomatic and early-stage HD. Further, PACSIN 1 immunostaining of HD patient tissue reveals a more cytoplasmic distribution of the protein, with particular concentration in the perinuclear region coincident with mutant huntingtin. Thus, the specific interaction of huntingtin with the neuronal PACSIN isoform, PACSIN 1, and its altered intracellular distribution in pathological tissue, together with the observed differences in the binding behavior, suggest a role for PACSIN 1 during early stages of the selective neuropathology of HD.

  12. Huntington's Disease: An Immune Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annapurna Nayak

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that is caused by abnormal expansion of CAG trinucleotide repeats. Neuroinflammation is a typical feature of most neurodegenerative diseases that leads to an array of pathological changes within the affected areas in the brain. The neurodegeneration in HD is also caused by aberrant immune response in the presence of aggregated mutant huntingtin protein. The effects of immune activation in HD nervous system are a relatively unexplored area of research. This paper summarises immunological features associated with development and progression of HD.

  13. Triplet repeat mutation length gains correlate with cell-type specific vulnerability in Huntington disease brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shelbourne, Peggy F; Keller-McGandy, Christine; Bi, Wenya Linda; Yoon, Song-Ro; Dubeau, Louis; Veitch, Nicola J; Vonsattel, Jean Paul; Wexler, Nancy S; Arnheim, Norman; Augood, Sarah J

    2007-05-15

    Huntington disease is caused by the expansion of a CAG repeat encoding an extended glutamine tract in a protein called huntingtin. Here, we provide evidence supporting the hypothesis that somatic increases of mutation length play a role in the progressive nature and cell-selective aspects of HD pathogenesis. Results from micro-dissected tissue and individual laser-dissected cells obtained from human HD cases and knock-in HD mice indicate that the CAG repeat is unstable in all cell types tested although neurons tend to have longer mutation length gains than glia. Mutation length gains occur early in the disease process and continue to accumulate as the disease progresses. In keeping with observed patterns of cell loss, neuronal mutation length gains tend to be more prominent in the striatum than in the cortex of low-grade human HD cases, less so in more advanced cases. Interestingly, neuronal sub-populations of HD mice appear to have different propensities for mutation length gains; in particular, smaller mutation length gains occur in nitric oxide synthase-positive striatal interneurons (a relatively spared cell type in HD) compared with the pan-striatal neuronal population. More generally, the data demonstrate that neuronal changes in HD repeat length can be at least as great, if not greater, than those observed in the germline. The fact that significant CAG repeat length gains occur in non-replicating cells also argues that processes such as inappropriate mismatch repair rather than DNA replication are involved in generating mutation instability in HD brain tissue.

  14. Clinical presentation of juvenile Huntington disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruocco Heloísa H.

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinical presentation a group of patients with juvenile onset of Huntington disease. METHOD: All patients were interviewed following a structured clinical questioner. Patients were genotyped for the trinucleotide cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG repeat in the Huntington Disease gene. High resolution brain MRI was performed in all patients. RESULTS: We identified 4 patients with juvenile onset of disease among 50 patients with Huntington disease followed prospectively in our Neurogenetics clinic. Age at onset varied from 3 to 13 years, there were 2 boys, and 3 patients had a paternal inheritance of the disease. Expanded Huntington disease allele sizes varied from 41 to 69 trinucleotide repeats. The early onset patients presented with rigidity, bradykinesia, dystonia, dysarthria, seizures and ataxia. MRI showed severe volume loss of caudate and putamen nuclei (p=0.001 and reduced cerebral and cerebellum volumes (p=0.01. CONCLUSION: 8% of Huntington disease patients seen in our clinic had juvenile onset of the disease. They did not present with typical chorea as seen in adult onset Huntington disease. There was a predominance of rigidity and bradykinesia. Two other important clinical features were seizures and ataxia, which related with the imaging findings of early cortical atrophy and cerebellum volume loss.

  15. Clinical neurogenetics: huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bordelon, Yvette M

    2013-11-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant, adult-onset, progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the triad of abnormal movements (typically chorea), cognitive impairment, and psychiatric problems. It is caused by an expanded CAG repeat in the gene encoding the protein huntingtin on chromosome 4 and causes progressive atrophy of the striatum as well as cortical and other extrastriatal structures. Genetic testing has been available since 1993 to confirm diagnosis in affected adults and for presymptomatic testing in at-risk individuals. This review covers HD signs, symptoms, and pathophysiology; current genetic testing issues; and current and future treatment strategies.

  16. Cholesterol metabolism in Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karasinska, Joanna M; Hayden, Michael R

    2011-09-06

    The CNS is rich in cholesterol, which is essential for neuronal development and survival, synapse maturation, and optimal synaptic activity. Alterations in brain cholesterol homeostasis are linked to neurodegeneration. Studies have demonstrated that Huntington disease (HD), a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder resulting from polyglutamine expansion in the huntingtin protein, is associated with changes in cellular cholesterol metabolism. Emerging evidence from human and animal studies indicates that attenuated brain sterol synthesis and accumulation of cholesterol in neuronal membranes represent two distinct mechanisms occurring in the presence of mutant huntingtin that influence neuronal survival. Increased knowledge of how changes in intraneuronal cholesterol metabolism influence the pathogenesis of HD will provide insights into the potential application of brain cholesterol regulation as a therapeutic strategy for this devastating disease.

  17. Psychopathology in Huntington's disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duijn, Erik van

    2010-01-01

    Dit proefschrift begint met een overzichtsartikel van oorspronkelijke onderzoek naar psychopathologie bij mutatiedragers voor de ziekte van Huntington. Aansluitend worden de resultaten van een cohortstudie naar de aanwezigheid en ernst van psychopathologie bij mensen met de ziekte van Huntington in

  18. Psychopathology in Huntington's disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duijn, Erik van

    2010-01-01

    Dit proefschrift begint met een overzichtsartikel van oorspronkelijke onderzoek naar psychopathologie bij mutatiedragers voor de ziekte van Huntington. Aansluitend worden de resultaten van een cohortstudie naar de aanwezigheid en ernst van psychopathologie bij mensen met de ziekte van Huntington in

  19. The diversity of GABA(A) receptor subunit distribution in the normal and Huntington's disease human brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldvogel, H J; Faull, R L M

    2015-01-01

    GABA(A) receptors are assembled into pentameric receptor complexes from a total of 19 different subunits derived from a variety of different subunit classes (α1-6, β1-3, γ1-3, δ, ɛ, θ, and π) which surround a central chloride ion channel. GABA(A) receptor complexes are distributed heterogeneously throughout the brain and spinal cord and are activated by the extensive GABAergic inhibitory system. In this chapter, we describe the heterogeneous distribution of six of the most widely distributed subunits (α1, α2, α3, β2,3, and γ2) throughout the human basal ganglia. This review describes the studies we have carried out on the normal and Huntington's disease human basal ganglia using autoradiographic labeling and immunohistochemistry in the human basal ganglia. GABA(A) receptors are known to react to changing conditions in the brain in neurological disorders, especially in Huntington's disease and display a high degree of plasticity which is thought to compensate for loss of function caused by disease. In Huntington's disease, the variable loss of GABAergic medium spiny striatopallidal projection neurons is associated with a loss of GABA(A) receptor subunits in the striosome and/or the matrix compartments of the striatum. By contrast in the globus pallidus, a loss of the GABAergic striatal projection neurons results in a dramatic upregulation of subunits on the large postsynaptic pallidal neurons; this is thought to be a compensatory plastic mechanism resulting from the loss of striatal GABAergic input. Most interestingly, our studies have revealed that the subventricular zone overlying the caudate nucleus contains a variety of proliferating progenitor stem cells that possess a heterogeneity of GABA(A) receptor subunits which may play a role in human brain repair mechanisms. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Somatic expansion of the Huntington's disease CAG repeat in the brain is associated with an earlier age of disease onset.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swami, Meera; Hendricks, Audrey E; Gillis, Tammy; Massood, Tiffany; Mysore, Jayalakshmi; Myers, Richard H; Wheeler, Vanessa C

    2009-08-15

    The age of onset of Huntington's disease (HD) is determined primarily by the length of the HD CAG repeat mutation, but is also influenced by other modifying factors. Delineating these modifiers is a critical step towards developing validated therapeutic targets in HD patients. The HD CAG repeat is somatically unstable, undergoing progressive length increases over time, particularly in brain regions that are the targets of neurodegeneration. Here, we have explored the hypothesis that somatic instability of the HD CAG repeat is itself a modifier of disease. Using small-pool PCR, we quantified somatic instability in the cortex region of the brain from a cohort of HD individuals exhibiting phenotypic extremes of young and old disease onset as predicted by the length of their constitutive HD CAG repeat lengths. After accounting for constitutive repeat length, somatic instability was found to be a significant predictor of onset age, with larger repeat length gains associated with earlier disease onset. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that somatic HD CAG repeat length expansions in target tissues contribute to the HD pathogenic process, and support pursuing factors that modify somatic instability as viable therapeutic targets.

  1. Neurodegenerative disorders: Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hague, S; Klaffke, S; Bandmann, O

    2005-01-01

    Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease are both model diseases. Parkinson's disease is the most common of several akinetic-rigid syndromes and Huntington's disease is only one of an ever growing number of trinucleotide repeat disorders. Molecular genetic studies and subsequent molecular biological studies have provided fascinating new insights into the pathogenesis of both disorders and there is now real hope for disease modifying treatment in the not too distant future for patients with Parkinson's disease or Huntington's disease. PMID:16024878

  2. Neurodegenerative disorders: Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hague, S M; Klaffke, S; Bandmann, O

    2005-08-01

    Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease are both model diseases. Parkinson's disease is the most common of several akinetic-rigid syndromes and Huntington's disease is only one of an ever growing number of trinucleotide repeat disorders. Molecular genetic studies and subsequent molecular biological studies have provided fascinating new insights into the pathogenesis of both disorders and there is now real hope for disease modifying treatment in the not too distant future for patients with Parkinson's disease or Huntington's disease.

  3. "Brain training" improves cognitive performance and survival in a transgenic mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, Nigel I; Glynn, Dervila; Morton, A Jennifer

    2011-06-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) has been shown to improve neurological function and cognitive performance in animal models of Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and Huntington's disease (HD). We have shown recently that even when they are already living in an enriched environment, additional EE had beneficial effects in R6/2 mice. Here we examined the effects of three different enrichment paradigms on cognitive dysfunction in R6/2 mice in a longitudinal study. The EE consisted of either enforced physical exercise on the Rotarod (predominantly motor stimulation), training in a novel type of maze, the 'noughts and crosses' (OX) maze (mainly cognitive stimulation), or access to a playground, that gave the mice the opportunity for increased, self-motivated activity using running wheels and other toys in a social context (mixed EE). We designed the OX maze to test spatial memory in the R6/2 mouse while minimizing motor demands. Control mice remained in their home cages during the training period. Mice were given enrichment between 6 and 8 weeks of age, followed by cognitive (Lashley maze) and motor testing (Rotarod) between 8 and 10 weeks. Mice were then given a further period of enrichment between 10 and 12 weeks, and their behavior was re-tested between 12 and 14 weeks of age. We also collected body weights and age at death from all mice. The OX maze was as sensitive for detecting learning deficits in the R6/2 mice as other types of mazes (such as the Morris water maze). Interestingly, providing cognitive stimulation via training in the OX maze produced significant improvements in subsequent cognitive performance by male, but not female, R6/2 mice in the Lashley maze task. OX maze training also significantly improved loss of body weight and survival in male R6/2 mice. These effects became apparent after as little as 2 weeks of training in the OX maze. These data suggest that there is a cognitive reserve that may be exploited in neurodegenerative disease

  4. Huntington's disease in children.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letort, Derek; Gonzalez-Alegre, Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a dominantly inherited, fatal neurodegenerative disease. This incurable illness is characterized by a triad of a movement disorder, cognitive decline and psychiatric manifestations. Although most patients with HD have disease onset in the adult years, a small but significant proportion present with pediatric HD. It has been long known that patients with early-onset HD commonly exhibit prominent parkinsonism, known as the Westphal variant of HD. However, even among patients with pediatric HD there are differential clinical features depending on the age of onset, with younger patients frequently presenting diagnostic challenges. In his chapter, the characteristics of patients with childhood- and adolescence-onset HD are discussed, focusing on the differential clinical features that can aid the clinical reach a correct diagnosis, the indications and rational use of genetic testing and the currently available options for symptomatic treatment.

  5. Alloimmunisation to donor antigens and immune rejection following foetal neural grafts to the brain in patients with Huntington's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre Krystkowiak

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The brain is deemed "immunologically privileged" due to sparse professional antigen-presenting cells and lymphatic drainage, and to the blood-brain barrier. Although the actual extent of this privilege is controversial, there is general consensus about the limited need in intracerebral neural grafts for immunosuppressive regimens comparable to those used in other cases of allotransplantation. This has led over the past fifteen years to the use of either short-term or even no immunosuppression in most clinical trials with foetal neural transplant in patients with Parkinson's and Huntington's disease. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We report biological demonstration of alloimmunisation without signs of rejection in four grafted patients out of 13 studied during the course of a clinical trial involving fetal neural transplantation in patients with Huntington's Disease. Biological, radiological and clinical demonstration of an ongoing rejection process was observed in a fifth transplanted patient. The rejection process was, however, fully reversible under immunosuppressive treatment and graft activity recovered within six months. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: There had been, up to date, no report of documented cases that could have cast a doubt on those procedures. Our results underline the need for a reconsideration of the extent of the so-called immune privilege of the brain and of the follow-up protocols of patients with intracerebral grafts. It also suggests that some of the results obtained in past studies with foetal neural transplants may have been biased by an unrecognized immune response to donor cells.

  6. Identification of elevated urea as a severe, ubiquitous metabolic defect in the brain of patients with Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patassini, Stefano; Begley, Paul; Reid, Suzanne J; Xu, Jingshu; Church, Stephanie J; Curtis, Maurice; Dragunow, Mike; Waldvogel, Henry J; Unwin, Richard D; Snell, Russell G; Faull, Richard L M; Cooper, Garth J S

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder wherein the aetiological defect is a mutation in the Huntington's gene (HTT), which alters the structure of the huntingtin protein through the lengthening of a polyglutamine tract and initiates a cascade that ultimately leads to dementia and premature death. However, neurodegeneration typically manifests in HD only in middle age, and processes linking the causative mutation to brain disease are poorly understood. Here, our objective was to elucidate further the processes that cause neurodegeneration in HD, by measuring levels of metabolites in brain regions known to undergo varying degrees of damage. We applied gas-chromatography/mass spectrometry-based metabolomics in a case-control study of eleven brain regions in short post-mortem-delay human tissue from nine well-characterized HD patients and nine controls. Unexpectedly, a single major abnormality was evident in all eleven brain regions studied across the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain, namely marked elevation of urea, a metabolite formed in the urea cycle by arginase-mediated cleavage of arginine. Urea cycle activity localizes primarily in the liver, where it functions to incorporate protein-derived amine-nitrogen into urea for recycling or urinary excretion. It also occurs in other cell-types, but systemic over-production of urea is not known in HD. These findings are consistent with impaired local urea regulation in brain, by up-regulation of synthesis and/or defective clearance. We hypothesize that defective brain urea metabolism could play a substantive role in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration, perhaps via defects in osmoregulation or nitrogen metabolism. Brain urea metabolism is therefore a target for generating novel monitoring/imaging strategies and/or therapeutic interventions aimed at ameliorating the impact of HD in patients.

  7. Pathogenic insights from Huntington's disease-like 2 and other Huntington's disease genocopies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Margolis, Russell L; Rudnicki, Dobrila D

    2016-12-01

    Huntington's disease-like 2 (HDL2) is a rare, progressive, autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder that genetically, clinically, and pathologically closely resembles Huntington's disease. We review HDL2 pathogenic mechanisms and examine the implications of these mechanisms for Huntington's disease and related diseases. HDL2 is caused by a CTG/CAG repeat expansion in junctophilin-3. Available data from cell and animal models and human brain suggest that HDL2 is a complex disease in which transcripts and proteins expressed bidirectionally from the junctophilin-3 locus contribute to pathogenesis through both gain-and loss-of-function mechanisms. Recent advances indicate that the pathogenesis of Huntington's disease is equally complex, despite the emphasis on toxic gain-of-function properties of the mutant huntingtin protein. Studies examining in parallel the genetic, clinical, neuropathological, and mechanistic similarities between Huntington's disease and HDL2 have begun to identify points of convergence between the pathogenic pathways of the two diseases. Comparisons to other diseases that are phenotypically or genetically related to Huntington's disease and HDL2 will likely reveal additional common pathways. The ultimate goal is to identify shared therapeutic targets and eventually develop therapies that may, at least in part, be effective across multiple similar rare diseases, an essential approach given the scarcity of resources for basic and translational research.

  8. Natural history of Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorsey, E Ray; Beck, Christopher A; Darwin, Kristin; Nichols, Paige; Brocht, Alicia F D; Biglan, Kevin M; Shoulson, Ira

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the natural history of Huntington disease will inform patients and clinicians on the disease course and researchers on the design of clinical trials. To determine the longitudinal change in clinical features among individuals with Huntington disease compared with controls. Prospective, longitudinal cohort study at 44 research sites in Australia (n = 2), Canada (n =4), and the United States (n = 38). Three hundred thirty-four individuals with clinically manifest Huntington disease who had at least 3 years of annually accrued longitudinal data and 142 controls consisting of caregivers and spouses who had no genetic risk of Huntington disease. Change in movement, cognition, behavior, and function as measured by the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale, the Mini-Mental State Examination, and vital signs. Total motor score worsened by 3.0 points (95% CI, 2.5-3.4) per year and chorea worsened by 0.3 point per year (95% CI, 0.1-0.5). Cognition declined by 0.7 point (95% CI, 0.6-0.8) per year on the Mini-Mental State Examination. Behavior, as measured by the product of frequency and severity score on the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale, worsened by 0.6 point per year (95% CI, 0.0-1.2). Total functional capacity declined by 0.6 point per year (95% CI, 0.5-0.7). Compared with controls, baseline body mass index was lower in those with Huntington disease (25.8 vs 28.8; P Huntington disease all declined in a monotonic manner. These data quantify the natural history of the disease and may inform the design of trials aimed at reducing its burden. clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00313495.

  9. What is HD - Huntington's Disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... the person less able to work at their customary level and less functional in their regular activities ... not is intensely personal and there is no "right" answer. The Huntington's Disease Society of America recommends ...

  10. Stages of Huntington's Disease (HD)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... the person less able to work at their customary level and less functional in their regular activities ... not is intensely personal and there is no "right" answer. The Huntington's Disease Society of America recommends ...

  11. Riluzole protects Huntington disease patients from brain glucose hypometabolism and grey matter volume loss and increases production of neurotrophins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Squitieri, Ferdinando; Orobello, Sara; Cannella, Milena; Martino, Tiziana [IRCCS Neuromed, Neurogenetics Unit and Centre for Rare Disease, Pozzilli (Italy); Romanelli, Pantaleo [IRCCS Neuromed, Department of Neurosurgery, Pozzilli (Italy); Giovacchini, Giampiero; Ciarmiello, Andrea [S. Andrea Hospital, Unit of Nuclear Medicine, La Spezia (Italy); Frati, Luigi [University ' ' Sapienza' ' , Department of Experimental Medicine, Rome (Italy); Mansi, Luigi [Second University of Naples, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Naples (Italy)

    2009-07-15

    Huntington disease (HD) mutation increases gain-of-toxic functions contributing to glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity. Riluzole interferes with glutamatergic neurotransmission, thereby reducing excitotoxicity, enhancing neurite formation in damaged motoneurons and increasing serum concentrations of BDNF, a brain cortex neurotrophin protecting striatal neurons from degeneration. We investigated metabolic and volumetric differences in distinct brain areas between 11 riluzole-treated and 12 placebo-treated patients by MRI and {sup 18}F-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose (FDG) PET scanning, according to fully automated protocols. We also investigated the influence of riluzole on peripheral growth factor blood levels. Placebo-treated patients showed significantly greater proportional volume loss of grey matter and decrease in metabolic FDG uptake than patients treated with riluzole in all cortical areas (p<0.05). The decreased rate of metabolic FDG uptake correlated with worsening clinical scores in placebo-treated patients, compared to those who were treated with riluzole. The progressive decrease in metabolic FDG uptake observed in the frontal, parietal and occipital cortex correlated linearly with the severity of motor scores calculated by Unified Huntington Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS-I) in placebo-treated patients. Similarly, the rate of metabolic changes in the frontal and temporal areas of the brain cortex correlated linearly with worsening behavioural scores calculated by UHDRS-III in the placebo-treated patients. Finally, BDNF and transforming growth factor beta-1 serum levels were significantly higher in patients treated with riluzole. The linear correlation between decreased metabolic FDG uptake and worsening clinical scores in the placebo-treated patients suggests that FDG-PET may be a valuable procedure to assess brain markers of HD. (orig.)

  12. Dopamine and Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwab, Laetitia C; Garas, Shady N; Garas, Shaady N; Drouin-Ouellet, Janelle; Mason, Sarah L; Stott, Simon R; Barker, Roger A

    2015-04-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an incurable, inherited, progressive neurodegenerative disorder that is defined by a combination of motor, cognitive and psychiatric features. Pre-clinical and clinical studies have demonstrated an important role for the dopamine (DA) system in HD with dopaminergic dysfunction at the level of both DA release and DA receptors. It is, therefore, not surprising that the drug treatments most commonly used in HD are anti-dopaminergic agents. Their use is based primarily on the belief that the characteristic motor impairments are a result of overactivation of the central dopaminergic pathways. While this is a useful starting place, it is clear that the behavior of the central dopaminergic pathways is not fully understood in this condition and may change as a function of disease stage. In addition, how abnormalities in dopaminergic systems may underlie some of the non-motor features of HD has also been poorly investigated and this is especially important given the greater burden these place on the patients' and families' quality of life. In this review, we discuss what is known about central dopaminergic pathways in HD and how this informs us about the mechanisms of action of the dopaminergic therapies used to treat it. By doing so, we will highlight some of the paradoxes that exist and how solving them may reveal new insights for improved treatment of this currently incurable condition, including the possibility that such drugs may even have effects on disease progression and pathogenesis.

  13. Huntington's Disease and Mitochondria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jodeiri Farshbaf, Mohammad; Ghaedi, Kamran

    2017-06-21

    Huntington's disease (HD) as an inherited neurodegenerative disorder leads to neuronal loss in striatum. Progressive motor dysfunction, cognitive decline, and psychiatric disturbance are the main clinical symptoms of the HD. This disease is caused by expansion of the CAG repeats in exon 1 of the huntingtin which encodes Huntingtin protein (Htt). Various cellular and molecular events play role in the pathology of HD. Mitochondria as important organelles play crucial roles in the most of neurodegenerative disorders like HD. Critical roles of the mitochondria in neurons are ATP generation, Ca(2+) buffering, ROS generation, and antioxidant activity. Neurons as high-demand energy cells closely related to function, maintenance, and dynamic of mitochondria. In the most neurological disorders, mitochondrial activities and dynamic are disrupted which associate with high ROS level, low ATP generation, and apoptosis. Accumulation of mutant huntingtin (mHtt) during this disease may evoke mitochondrial dysfunction. Here, we review recent findings to support this hypothesis that mHtt could cause mitochondrial defects. In addition, by focusing normal huntingtin functions in neurons, we purpose mitochondria and Huntingtin association in normal condition. Moreover, mHtt affects various cellular signaling which ends up to mitochondrial biogenesis. So, it could be a potential candidate to decline ATP level in HD. We conclude how mitochondrial biogenesis plays a central role in the neuronal survival and activity and how mHtt affects mitochondrial trafficking, maintenance, integrity, function, dynamics, and hemostasis and makes neurons vulnerable to degeneration in HD.

  14. Examination of Huntington's disease in a Chinese family.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Mingxia; Li, Xiaogai; Wu, Sanyun; Shen, Ji; Tu, Jiancheng

    2014-02-15

    We report brain imaging and genetic diagnosis in a family from Wuhan, China, with a history of Huntington's disease. Among 17 family members across three generations, four patients (II2, II6, III5, and III9) show typical Huntington's disease, involuntary dance-like movements. Magnetic resonance imaging found lateral ventricular atrophy in three members (II2, II6, and III5). Moreover, genetic analysis identified abnormally amplified CAG sequence repeats (> 40) in two members (III5 and III9). Among borderline cases, with clinical symptoms and brain imaging features of Huntington's disease, two cases were identified (II2 and II6), but shown by mutation analysis for CAG expansions in the important transcript 15 gene, to be non-Huntington's disease. Our findings suggest that clinical diagnosis of Huntington's disease requires a combination of clinical symptoms, radiological changes, and genetic diagnosis.

  15. Huntington's disease presenting as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Phukan, Julie

    2010-08-01

    We present the clinical, electrophysiological and molecular genetic findings of a 58-year-old male with genetically confirmed Huntington\\'s disease (HD) and concurrent clinically definite ALS by El Escorial criteria. The patient presented with asymmetric upper limb amyotrophy and weakness, and subsequently developed chorea and cognitive change. Genetic testing confirmed the presence of expanded trinucleotide repeats in huntingtin, consistent with a diagnosis of Huntington\\'s disease. This case confirms the rare coexistence of Huntington\\'s disease and motor neuron degeneration.

  16. Mitochondrial dysfunction and Huntington disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is a chronic autosomal-dominant neurodegenerative disease. The gene coding Huntingtin has been identified, but the pathogenic mechanisms of the disease are still not fully understood. This paper reviews the involvement of mitochondrial dysfunction in pathogenesis of HD.

  17. Early changes in Huntington's disease patient brains involve alterations in cytoskeletal and synaptic elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiProspero, Nicholas A; Chen, Er-Yun; Charles, Vinod; Plomann, Markus; Kordower, Jeffrey H; Tagle, Danilo A

    2004-09-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by a polyglutamine repeat expansion in the N-terminus of the huntingtin protein. Huntingtin is normally present in the cytoplasm where it may interact with structural and synaptic elements. The mechanism of HD pathogenesis remains unknown but studies indicate a toxic gain-of-function possibly through aberrant protein interactions. To investigate whether early degenerative changes in HD involve alterations of cytoskeletal and vesicular components, we examined early cellular changes in the frontal cortex of HD presymptomatic (PS), early pathological grade (grade 1) and late-stage (grade 3 and 4) patients as compared to age-matched controls. Morphologic analysis using silver impregnation revealed a progressive decrease in neuronal fiber density and organization in pyramidal cell layers beginning in presymptomatic HD cases. Immunocytochemical analyses for the cytoskeletal markers alpha -tubulin, microtubule-associated protein 2, and phosphorylated neurofilament demonstrated a concomitant loss of staining in early grade cases. Immunoblotting for synaptic proteins revealed a reduction in complexin 2, which was marked in some grade 1 HD cases and significantly reduced in all late stage cases. Interestingly, we demonstrate that two synaptic proteins, dynamin and PACSIN 1, which were unchanged by immunoblotting, showed a striking loss by immunocytochemistry beginning in early stage HD tissue suggesting abnormal distribution of these proteins. We propose that mutant huntingtin affects proteins involved in synaptic function and cytoskeletal integrity before symptoms develop which may influence early disease onset and/or progression.

  18. Altered cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism in Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Block, Robert C; Dorsey, E Ray; Beck, Christopher A; Brenna, J Thomas; Shoulson, Ira

    2010-01-01

    Huntington disease is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder characterized by behavioral abnormalities, cognitive decline, and involuntary movements that lead to a progressive decline in functional capacity, independence, and ultimately death. The pathophysiology of Huntington disease is linked to an expanded trinucleotide repeat of cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG) in the IT-15 gene on chromosome 4. There is no disease-modifying treatment for Huntington disease, and novel pathophysiological insights and therapeutic strategies are needed. Lipids are vital to the health of the central nervous system, and research in animals and humans has revealed that cholesterol metabolism is disrupted in Huntington disease. This lipid dysregulation has been linked to specific actions of the mutant huntingtin on sterol regulatory element binding proteins. This results in lower cholesterol levels in affected areas of the brain with evidence that this depletion is pathologic. Huntington disease is also associated with a pattern of insulin resistance characterized by a catabolic state resulting in weight loss and a lower body mass index than individuals without Huntington disease. Insulin resistance appears to act as a metabolic stressor attending disease progression. The fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, have been examined in clinical trials of Huntington disease patients. Drugs that combat the dysregulated lipid milieu in Huntington disease may help treat this perplexing and catastrophic genetic disease.

  19. Huntington's Disease and Striatal Signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roze, Emmanuel; Cahill, Emma; Martin, Elodie; Bonnet, Cecilia; Vanhoutte, Peter; Betuing, Sandrine; Caboche, Jocelyne

    2011-01-01

    Huntington's Disease (HD) is the most frequent neurodegenerative disease caused by an expansion of polyglutamines (CAG). The main clinical manifestations of HD are chorea, cognitive impairment, and psychiatric disorders. The transmission of HD is autosomal dominant with a complete penetrance. HD has a single genetic cause, a well-defined neuropathology, and informative pre-manifest genetic testing of the disease is available. Striatal atrophy begins as early as 15 years before disease onset and continues throughout the period of manifest illness. Therefore, patients could theoretically benefit from therapy at early stages of the disease. One important characteristic of HD is the striatal vulnerability to neurodegeneration, despite similar expression of the protein in other brain areas. Aggregation of the mutated Huntingtin (HTT), impaired axonal transport, excitotoxicity, transcriptional dysregulation as well as mitochondrial dysfunction, and energy deficits, are all part of the cellular events that underlie neuronal dysfunction and striatal death. Among these non-exclusive mechanisms, an alteration of striatal signaling is thought to orchestrate the downstream events involved in the cascade of striatal dysfunction.

  20. Huntington's disease: a clinical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McColgan, Peter; Tabrizi, Sarah J

    2017-08-17

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a fully penetrant neurodegenerative disease caused by a dominantly inherited CAG trinucleotide repeat expansion in the huntingtin gene on chromosome 4. In Western populations HD has a prevalence of 10.6-13.7 individuals per 100,000. It is characterised by cognitive, motor and psychiatric disturbance. At the cellular level mutant huntingtin results in neuronal dysfunction and death through a number of mechanisms, including disruption of proteostasis, transcription and mitochondrial function and direct toxicity of the mutant protein. Early macroscopic changes are seen in the striatum with involvement of the cortex as the disease progresses. There are currently no disease modifying treatments therefore supportive and symptomatic management is the mainstay of treatment. In recent years there have been significant advances in understanding both the cellular pathology and the macroscopic structural brain changes that occur as the disease progresses. In the last decade there has been a large growth in potential therapeutic targets and clinical trials. Perhaps the most promising of these are the emerging therapies aimed at lowering levels of mutant huntingtin. Antisense oligonucleotide therapy is one such approach with clinical trials currently underway. This may bring us one step closer to treating and potentially preventing this devastating condition. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  1. Huntington Disease in Asia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Miao Xu; Zhi-Ying Wu

    2015-01-01

    Objective:The objective was to review the major differences of Huntington disease (HD) in Asian population from those in the Caucasian population.Data Sources:Data cited in this review were obtained from PubMed database and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) from 1994 to 2014.All the papers were written in English or Chinese languages,with the terms of Asia/Asian,HD,genotype,epidemiology,phenotype,and treatment used for the literature search.Study Selection:From the PubMed database,we included the articles and reviews which contained the HD patients' data from Asian countries.From the CNKI,we excluded the papers which were not original research.Due to the language's restrictions,those data published in other languages were not included.Results:In total,50 papers were cited in this review,authors of which were from the mainland of China,Japan,India,Thailand,Taiwan (China),Korea,and western countries.Conclusions:The lower epidemiology in Asians can be partly explained by the less cytosine-adenine-guanine repeats,different haplotypes,and CCG polymorphisms.For the physicians,atypical clinical profiles such as the initial symptom of ataxia,movement abnormalities of Parkinsonism,dystonia,or tics need to be paid more attention to and suggest gene testing if necessary.Moreover,some pathogenesis studies may help progress some new advanced treatments.The clinicians in Asian especially in China should promote the usage of genetic testing and put more effects in rehabilitation,palliative care,and offer comfort of patients and their families.The unified HD rating scale also needs to be popularized in Asia to assist in evaluating the progression of HD.

  2. RNA Sequence Analysis of Human Huntington Disease Brain Reveals an Extensive Increase in Inflammatory and Developmental Gene Expression.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adam Labadorf

    Full Text Available Huntington's Disease (HD is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder that is caused by an expanded CAG trinucleotide repeat in the Huntingtin (HTT gene. Transcriptional dysregulation in the human HD brain has been documented but is incompletely understood. Here we present a genome-wide analysis of mRNA expression in human prefrontal cortex from 20 HD and 49 neuropathologically normal controls using next generation high-throughput sequencing. Surprisingly, 19% (5,480 of the 28,087 confidently detected genes are differentially expressed (FDR<0.05 and are predominantly up-regulated. A novel hypothesis-free geneset enrichment method that dissects large gene lists into functionally and transcriptionally related groups discovers that the differentially expressed genes are enriched for immune response, neuroinflammation, and developmental genes. Markers for all major brain cell types are observed, suggesting that HD invokes a systemic response in the brain area studied. Unexpectedly, the most strongly differentially expressed genes are a homeotic gene set (represented by Hox and other homeobox genes, that are almost exclusively expressed in HD, a profile not widely implicated in HD pathogenesis. The significance of transcriptional changes of developmental processes in the HD brain is poorly understood and warrants further investigation. The role of inflammation and the significance of non-neuronal involvement in HD pathogenesis suggest anti-inflammatory therapeutics may offer important opportunities in treating HD.

  3. Quadruple deep brain stimulation in Huntington's disease, targeting pallidum and subthalamic nucleus: case report and review of the literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruber, D; Kuhn, A A; Schoenecker, T; Kopp, U A; Kivi, A; Huebl, J; Lobsien, E; Mueller, B; Schneider, G-H; Kupsch, A

    2014-10-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) represents an established treatment option in a growing number of movement disorders. Recent case reports suggest beneficial effect of globus pallidus internus (GPi)-DBS in selected patients suffering from Huntington's disease with marked disabling chorea. We present a 41-year-old man with genetically confirmed HD following quadruple GPi- and subthalamic nucleus (STN)-DBS. Motor function was assessed by Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS) and by Unified Huntington Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) presurgery and postsurgery for up to 4 years. Furthermore, cognitive, neuropsychiatric state and quality of life (QoL) including life satisfaction (QLS) were annually evaluated. Chorea assessed by AIMS and UHDRS subscores improved by 52 and 55 %, 45 and 60 %, 35 and 45 % and 55-66 % at 1-4 years, respectively, compared to presurgical state following GPi-STN-DBS. During these time periods bradykinesia did not increase following separate STN- and combined GPi-STN-DBS compared to presurgical state. Mood, QoL and QLS were ameliorated. However, dysexecutive symptoms increased at 4 years postsurgery. The present case report suggests that bilateral GPi- and STN-DBS may represent a new treatment avenue in selected HD patients. Clinically, GPi-DBS attenuated chorea and was associated with a larger effect-adverse effect window compared to STN-DBS. However, GPi-DBS-induced bradykinesia may emerge as one main limitation of GPi-DBS in HD. Thus, quadruple GPi-STN-DBS may be indicated, if separate GPi-DBS does not result in sufficient control of motor symptoms. Future controlled studies need to confirm if the present anecdotal observation of additive beneficial effects of GPi- and STN-DBS in a HD patient with severe generalized chorea and relatively intact cognitive and affective functions indeed represents a new therapeutic option.

  4. Regulation of P-glycoprotein expression in brain capillaries in Huntington's disease and its impact on brain availability of antipsychotic agents risperidone and paliperidone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kao, Yu-Han; Chern, Yijuang; Yang, Hui-Ting; Chen, Hui-Mei; Lin, Chun-Jung

    2016-08-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disease marked by an expanded polyglutamine (polyQ) tract on the huntingtin (HTT) protein that may cause transcriptional dysfunction. This study aimed to investigate the regulation and function of P-glycoprotein, an important efflux transporter, in brain capillaries in HD. The results showed that, compared with the littermate controls, R6/2 HD transgenic mice with the human mutant HTT gene had higher levels of P-glycoprotein mRNA and protein and enhanced NF-κB activity in their brain capillaries. Higher P-glycoprotein expression was also observed in the brain capillaries of human HD patients. Consistent with this enhanced P-glycoprotein expression, brain extracellular levels and brain-to-plasma ratios of the antipsychotic agents risperidone and paliperidone were significantly lower in R6/2 mice than in their littermate controls. Exogenous expression of human mutant HTT protein with expanded polyQ (mHTT-109Q) in HEK293T cells enhanced the levels of P-glycoprotein transcripts and NF-κB activity compared with cells expressing normal HTT-25Q. Treatment with the IKK inhibitor, BMS-345541, decreased P-glycoprotein mRNA level in cells transfected with mHTT-109Q or normal HTT-25Q In conclusion, mutant HTT altered the expression of P-glycoprotein through the NF-κB pathway in brain capillaries in HD and markedly affected the availability of P-glycoprotein substrates in the brain.

  5. Large genetic animal models of Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morton, A Jennifer; Howland, David S

    2013-01-01

    The dominant nature of the Huntington's disease gene mutation has allowed genetic models to be developed in multiple species, with the mutation causing an abnormal neurological phenotype in all animals in which it is expressed. Many different rodent models have been generated. The most widely used of these, the transgenic R6/2 mouse, carries the mutation in a fragment of the human huntingtin gene and has a rapidly progressive and fatal neurological phenotype with many relevant pathological changes. Nevertheless, their rapid decline has been frequently questioned in the context of a disease that takes years to manifest in humans, and strenuous efforts have been made to make rodent models that are genetically more 'relevant' to the human condition, including full length huntingtin gene transgenic and knock-in mice. While there is no doubt that we have learned, and continue to learn much from rodent models, their usefulness is limited by two species constraints. First, the brains of rodents differ significantly from humans in both their small size and their neuroanatomical organization. Second, rodents have much shorter lifespans than humans. Here, we review new approaches taken to these challenges in the development of models of Huntington's disease in large brained, long-lived animals. We discuss the need for such models, and how they might be used to fill specific niches in preclinical Huntington's disease research, particularly in testing gene-based therapeutics. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of animals in which the prodromal period of disease extends over a long time span. We suggest that there is considerable 'value added' for large animal models in preclinical Huntington's disease research.

  6. Effect of post-mortem delay on N-terminal huntingtin protein fragments in human control and Huntington disease brain lysates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schut, Menno H; Patassini, Stefano; Kim, Eric H; Bullock, Jocelyn; Waldvogel, Henry J; Faull, Richard L M; Pepers, Barry A; den Dunnen, Johan T; van Ommen, Gert-Jan B; van Roon-Mom, Willeke M C

    2017-01-01

    Huntington disease is associated with elongation of a CAG repeat in the HTT gene that results in a mutant huntingtin protein. Several studies have implicated N-terminal huntingtin protein fragments in Huntington disease pathogenesis. Ideally, these fragments are studied in human brain tissue. However, the use of human brain tissue comes with certain unavoidable variables such as post mortem delay, artefacts from freeze-thaw cycles and subject-to-subject variation. Knowledge on how these variables might affect N-terminal huntingtin protein fragments in post mortem human brain is important for a proper interpretation of study results. The effect of post mortem delay on protein in human brain is known to vary depending on the protein of interest. In the present study, we have assessed the effect of post mortem delay on N-terminal huntingtin protein fragments using western blot. We mimicked post mortem delay in one individual control case and one individual Huntington disease case with low initial post mortem delay. The influence of subject-to-subject variation on N-terminal huntingtin fragments was assessed in human cortex and human striatum using two cohorts of control and Huntington disease subjects. Our results show that effects of post mortem delay on N-terminal huntingtin protein fragments are minor in our individual subjects. Additionally, one freeze-thaw cycle decreases the huntingtin western blot signal intensity in the cortex control subject, but does not introduce additional N-terminal huntingtin fragments. Our results suggest that subject-to-subject variation contributes more to variability in N-terminal huntingtin fragments than post mortem delay.

  7. Huntington Disease: Molecular Diagnostics Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bastepe, Murat; Xin, Winnie

    2015-10-06

    Huntington disease (HD) is caused by expansion of a CAG trinucleotide repeat in the first exon of the Huntingtin (HTT) gene. Molecular testing of Huntington disease for diagnostic confirmation and disease prediction requires detection of the CAG repeat expansion. There are three main types of HD genetic testing: (1) diagnostic testing to confirm or rule out disease, (2) presymptomatic testing to determine whether an at-risk individual inherited the expanded allele, and (3) prenatal testing to determine whether the fetus has inherited the expanded allele. This unit includes protocols that describe the complementary use of polymerase chain reactions (PCR) and Southern blot hybridization to accurately measure the CAG trinucleotide repeat size and interpret the test results. In addition, an indirect linkage analysis that does not reveal the unwanted parental HD status in a prenatal testing will also be discussed.

  8. Impaired PLP-dependent metabolism in brain samples from Huntington disease patients and transgenic R6/1 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorolla, M Alba; Rodríguez-Colman, María José; Vall-Llaura, Núria; Vived, Celia; Fernández-Nogales, Marta; Lucas, José J; Ferrer, Isidre; Cabiscol, Elisa

    2016-06-01

    Oxidative stress has been described as important to Huntington disease (HD) progression. In a previous HD study, we identified several carbonylated proteins, including pyridoxal kinase and antiquitin, both of which are involved in the metabolism of pyridoxal 5´-phosphate (PLP), the active form of vitamin B6. In the present study, pyridoxal kinase levels were quantified and showed to be decreased both in HD patients and a R6/1 mouse model, compared to control samples. A metabolomic analysis was used to analyze metabolites in brain samples of HD patients and R6/1 mice, compared to control samples using mass spectrometry. This technique allowed detection of increased concentrations of pyridoxal, the substrate of pyridoxal kinase. In addition, PLP, the product of the reaction, was decreased in striatum from R6/1 mice. Furthermore, glutamate and cystathionine, both substrates of PLP-dependent enzymes were increased in HD. This reinforces the hypothesis that PLP synthesis is impaired, and could explain some alterations observed in the disease. Together, these results identify PLP as a potential therapeutic agent.

  9. Diminished hippocalcin expression in Huntington's disease brain does not account for increased striatal neuron vulnerability as assessed in primary neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rudinskiy, Nikita; Kaneko, Yoshio A; Beesen, Ayshe Ana; Gokce, Ozgun; Régulier, Etienne; Déglon, Nicole; Luthi-Carter, Ruth

    2009-10-01

    Hippocalcin is a neuronal calcium sensor protein previously implicated in regulating neuronal viability and plasticity. Hippocalcin is the most highly expressed neuronal calcium sensor in the medium spiny striatal output neurons that degenerate selectively in Huntington's disease (HD). We have previously shown that decreased hippocalcin expression occurs in parallel with the onset of disease phenotype in mouse models of HD. Here we show by in situ hybridization histochemistry that hippocalcin RNA is also diminished by 63% in human HD brain. These findings lead us to hypothesize that diminished hippocalcin expression might contribute to striatal neurodegeneration in HD. We tested this hypothesis by assessing whether restoration of hippocalcin expression would decrease striatal neurodegeneration in cellular models of HD comprising primary striatal neurons exposed to mutant huntingtin, the mitochondrial toxin 3-nitropropionic acid or an excitotoxic concentration of glutamate. Counter to our hypothesis, hippocalcin expression did not improve the survival of striatal neurons under these conditions. Likewise, expression of hippocalcin together with interactor proteins including the neuronal apoptosis inhibitory protein did not increase the survival of striatal cells in cellular models of HD. These results indicate that diminished hippocalcin expression does not contribute to HD-related neurodegeneration.

  10. Neuropathological diagnosis and CAG repeat expansion in Huntington's disease.

    OpenAIRE

    Xuereb, J H; MacMillan, J C; Snell, R; Davies, P.; Harper, P S

    1996-01-01

    OBJECTIVE--To correlate the degree of CAG repeat expansion with neuropathological findings in Huntington's disease. METHODS--The CAG repeat polymorphism was analysed in a large series of brain samples from 268 patients with a clinical diagnosis of Huntington's disease in which full neuropathological data was available. RESULTS--Analysis by polymerase chain reaction was successful in 63% of samples (169 of 268). Repeat expansions were detected in 152 of 153 (99%) samples with a neuropathologic...

  11. Neuropsychiatric Burden in Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paoli, Ricardo Augusto; Botturi, Andrea; Ciammola, Andrea; Silani, Vincenzo; Prunas, Cecilia; Lucchiari, Claudio; Zugno, Elisa; Caletti, Elisabetta

    2017-06-16

    Huntington's disease is a disorder that results in motor, cognitive, and psychiatric problems. The symptoms often take different forms and the presence of disturbances of the psychic sphere reduces patients' autonomy and quality of life, also impacting patients' social life. It is estimated that a prevalence between 33% and 76% of the main psychiatric syndromes may arise in different phases of the disease, often in atypical form, even 20 years before the onset of chorea and dementia. We present a narrative review of the literature describing the main psychopathological patterns that may be found in Huntington's disease, searching for a related article in the main database sources (Medline, ISI Web of Knowledge, Scopus, and Medscape). Psychiatric conditions were classified into two main categories: affective and nonaffective disorders/symptoms; and anxiety and neuropsychiatric features such as apathy and irritability. Though the literature is extensive, it is not always convergent, probably due to the high heterogeneity of methods used. We summarize main papers for pathology and sample size, in order to present a synoptic vision of the argument. Since the association between Huntington's disease and psychiatric symptoms was demonstrated, we argue that the prevalent and more invalidating psychiatric components should be recognized as early as possible during the disease course in order to best address psychopharmacological therapy, improve quality of life, and also reduce burden on caregivers.

  12. Ca(2+) handling in isolated brain mitochondria and cultured neurons derived from the YAC128 mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellman, Jessica J; Hamilton, James; Brustovetsky, Tatiana; Brustovetsky, Nickolay

    2015-08-01

    We investigated Ca(2+) handling in isolated brain synaptic and non-synaptic mitochondria and in cultured striatal neurons from the YAC128 mouse model of Huntington's disease. Both synaptic and non-synaptic mitochondria from 2- and 12-month-old YAC128 mice had larger Ca(2+) uptake capacity than mitochondria from YAC18 and wild-type FVB/NJ mice. Synaptic mitochondria from 12-month-old YAC128 mice had further augmented Ca(2+) capacity compared with mitochondria from 2-month-old YAC128 mice and age-matched YAC18 and FVB/NJ mice. This increase in Ca(2+) uptake capacity correlated with an increase in the amount of mutant huntingtin protein (mHtt) associated with mitochondria from 12-month-old YAC128 mice. We speculate that this may happen because of mHtt-mediated sequestration of free fatty acids thereby increasing resistance of mitochondria to Ca(2+)-induced damage. In experiments with striatal neurons from YAC128 and FVB/NJ mice, brief exposure to 25 or 100 μM glutamate produced transient elevations in cytosolic Ca(2+) followed by recovery to near resting levels. Following recovery of cytosolic Ca(2+), mitochondrial depolarization with FCCP produced comparable elevations in cytosolic Ca(2+), suggesting similar Ca(2+) release and, consequently, Ca(2+) loads in neuronal mitochondria from YAC128 and FVB/NJ mice. Together, our data argue against a detrimental effect of mHtt on Ca(2+) handling in brain mitochondria of YAC128 mice. We demonstrate that mutant huntingtin (mHtt) binds to brain synaptic and nonsynaptic mitochondria and the amount of mitochondria-bound mHtt correlates with increased mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake capacity. We propose that this may happen due to mHtt-mediated sequestration of free fatty acids thereby increasing resistance of mitochondria to Ca(2+)-induced damage.

  13. Cortical myoclonus in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, P D; Bhatia, K P; Brown, P; Davis, M B; Pires, M; Quinn, N P; Luthert, P; Honovar, M; O'Brien, M D; Marsden, C D

    1994-11-01

    We describe three patients with Huntington's disease, from two families, in whom myoclonus was the predominant clinical feature. The diagnosis was confirmed at autopsy in two cases and by DNA analysis in all three. These patients all presented before the age of 30 years and were the offspring of affected fathers. Neurophysiological studies documented generalised and multifocal action myoclonus of cortical origin that was strikingly stimulus sensitive, without enlargement of the cortical somatosensory evoked potential. The myoclonus improved with piracetam therapy in one patient and a combination of sodium valproate and clonazepam in the other two. Cortical reflex myoclonus is a rare but disabling component of the complex movement disorder of Huntington's disease, which may lead to substantial diagnostic difficulties.

  14. Antipsychotic drugs in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unti, E; Mazzucchi, S; Palermo, G; Bonuccelli, U; Ceravolo, R

    2017-03-01

    The aim of this review is to overview the pharmacological features of neuroleptics experienced in the treatment of Huntington's disease (HD) symptoms. Despite a large number of case reports, randomized controlled trials (RCT) and drug comparison studies are lacking. Areas covered: After evaluating current guidelines and clinical unmet needs we searched PubMed for the term 'Huntington's disease' cross referenced with the terms 'Antipsychotic drugs' 'Neuroleptic drugs' and single drug specific names. Expert commentary: In clinical practice antipsychotics represent the first choice in the management of chorea in the presence of psychiatric symptoms, when poor compliance is suspected or when there is an increased risk of adverse events due to tetrabenazine. Antipsychotics are considered valid strategies, with the second generation preferred to reduce extrapyramidal adverse events, however they may cause more metabolic side effects. In the future 'dopamine stabilizers', such as pridopidine, could replace antipsychotics modulating dopamine transmission.

  15. Huntington's disease presenting as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phukan, Julie; Ali, Elfatih; Pender, Niall P; Molloy, Fiona; Hennessy, Michael; Walsh, Ronan J; Hardiman, Orla

    2010-08-01

    We present the clinical, electrophysiological and molecular genetic findings of a 58-year-old male with genetically confirmed Huntington's disease (HD) and concurrent clinically definite ALS by El Escorial criteria. The patient presented with asymmetric upper limb amyotrophy and weakness, and subsequently developed chorea and cognitive change. Genetic testing confirmed the presence of expanded trinucleotide repeats in huntingtin, consistent with a diagnosis of Huntington's disease. This case confirms the rare coexistence of Huntington's disease and motor neuron degeneration.

  16. Preserving cortico-striatal function: Deep brain stimulation in Huntington's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean J Nagel

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Huntington’s disease (HD is an incurable neurodegenerative disease characterized by the triad of chorea, cognitive dysfunction and psychiatric disturbances. Since the discovery of the HD gene, the pathogenesis has been outlined, but to date a cure has not been found. Disease modifying therapies are needed desperately to improve function, alleviate suffering, and provide hope for symptomatic patients. Deep brain stimulation (DBS, a proven therapy for managing the symptoms of some neurodegenerative movement disorders, including Parkinson’s disease, has been reported as a palliative treatment in select cases of HD with debilitating chorea with variable success. New insights into the mechanism of action of DBS suggest it may have the potential to circumvent other manifestations of HD including cognitive deterioration. Furthermore, because DBS is already widely used, reversible, and has a risk profile that is relatively low, new studies can be initiated. In this article we contend that new clinical trials be considered to test the effects of DBS for HD

  17. Striatal grafts in a rat model of Huntington's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guzman, R; Meyer, M; Lövblad, K O;

    1999-01-01

    Survival and integration into the host brain of grafted tissue are crucial factors in neurotransplantation approaches. The present study explored the feasibility of using a clinical MR scanner to study striatal graft development in a rat model of Huntington's disease. Rat fetal lateral ganglionic...... eminences grown as free-floating roller-tube cultures can be successfully grafted in a rat Huntington model and that a clinical MR scanner offers a useful noninvasive tool for studying striatal graft development....

  18. Huntington's disease: clinical characteristics, pathogenesis and therapies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakamura, Ken; Aminoff, Michael J

    2007-02-01

    Huntington's disease is a devastating disorder with no known cure. The disease results from an expanded sequence of CAG repeats in the huntingtin gene and leads to a movement disorder with associated cognitive and systemic deficits. Huntington's disease is diagnosed by genetic testing and disease progression can be followed with a variety of imaging modalities. The accumulation of aggregated huntingtin with associated striatal degeneration is evident at autopsy. The pathophysiology of Huntington's disease remains unknown, although protein aggregation, excitotoxicity, deficits in energy metabolism, transcriptional dysregulation and apoptosis may all be involved. Current pharmacologic therapy for Huntington's disease is limited and exclusively symptomatic. However, the disease is being heavily researched, and a wide range of disease-modifying therapies is currently under development. The efficacy of these therapies is being evaluated in transgenic models of Huntington's disease and in preliminary clinical trials.

  19. Huntington's disease: review and anesthetic case management.

    OpenAIRE

    Cangemi, C. F.; Miller, R. J.

    1998-01-01

    Huntington's disease is a dominantly inherited progressive autosomal disease that affects the basal ganglia. Symptoms appear later in life and manifest as progressive mental deterioration and involuntary choreiform movements. Patients with Huntington's disease develop a progressive but variable dementia. Dysphagia, the most significant related motor symptom, hinders nutrition intake and places the patient at risk for aspiration. The combination of involuntary choreoathetoid movements, depress...

  20. Huntington disease: pathogenesis and treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dayalu, Praveen; Albin, Roger L

    2015-02-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant inherited neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive motor, behavioral, and cognitive decline, culminating in death. It is caused by an expanded CAG repeat in the huntingtin gene. Even years before symptoms become overt, mutation carriers show subtle but progressive striatal and cerebral white matter atrophy by volumetric MRI. Although there is currently no direct treatment of HD, management options are available for several symptoms. A better understanding of HD pathogenesis, and more sophisticated clinical trials using newer biomarkers, may lead to meaningful treatments. This article reviews the current knowledge of HD pathogenesis and treatment.

  1. Huntington’s Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-01

    New advances in disease testing and diagnosis, such as genetic testing , now provide increased means for disease diagnosis but also possible therapeutic...treatments. Indeed, according to some experts, genetic testing and therapy may be key to future disease detection, therapy, and even prevention. In...associated with its long-term management. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Neurological disease , genetic testing , aeromedical concerns, Huntington’s disease 16

  2. Huntingtin processing in pathogenesis of Huntington disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhenghong QIN; Zhenlun GU

    2004-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by an expansion of the polyglutamine tract in the protein named huntingtin.The expansion of polyglutamine tract induces selective degeneration of striatal projection neurons and cortical pyramidal neurons. The bio-hallmark of HD is the formation of intranuclear inclusions and cytoplasmic aggregates in association with other cellular proteins in vulnerable neurons. Accumulation of N-terminal mutant huntingtin in HD brains is prominent. These pathological features are related to protein misfolding and impairments in protein processing and degradation in neurons. This review focused on the role of proteases in huntingtin cleavage and degradation and the contribution of altered processing of mutant huntingtin to HD pathogenesis.

  3. Drug-induced hyperthermia in Huntington's disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaasbeek, D; Naarding, Paul; Stor, T; Kremer, H P H

    Until now, only three patients with Huntington's disease (HD) and a neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) have been reported in the literature. We describe four cases with advanced stage Huntington's disease who within a period of one year developed drug-induced hyperthermia, either the neuroleptic

  4. Drug-induced hyperthermia in Huntington's disease.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaasbeek, D.; Naarding, P.; Stor, T.; Kremer, H.P.H.

    2004-01-01

    Until now, only three patients with Huntington's disease (HD) and a neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) have been reported in the literature. We describe four cases with advanced stage Huntington's disease who within a period of one year developed drug-induced hyperthermia, either the neuroleptic

  5. Drug-induced hyperthermia in Huntington's disease.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaasbeek, D.; Naarding, P.; Stor, T.; Kremer, H.P.H.

    2004-01-01

    Until now, only three patients with Huntington's disease (HD) and a neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) have been reported in the literature. We describe four cases with advanced stage Huntington's disease who within a period of one year developed drug-induced hyperthermia, either the neuroleptic m

  6. Apathy is not depression in Huntington's disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naarding, Paul; Janzing, Joost G E; Eling, Paul; van der Werf, Sieberen; Kremer, Berry

    2009-01-01

    Apathy and depression are common neuropsychiatric features of Huntington's disease. The authors studied a group of 34 Huntington's disease patients. In addition to the conventional classification according to DSM-IV criteria of depression, emphasis was put on a dimensional approach using scores on

  7. Dysphagia in Huntington's disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heemskerk-van den Berg, Willemien Antoinette

    2015-01-01

    Huntington’s disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with an autosomal, dominant mode of inheritance. Patients with HD suffer from dysphagia which can have serious consequences, such as weight loss, dehydration, and pneumonia leading to death. Many patients with HD die of aspiration

  8. Dysphagia in Huntington's disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heemskerk-van den Berg, Willemien Antoinette

    2015-01-01

    Huntington’s disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with an autosomal, dominant mode of inheritance. Patients with HD suffer from dysphagia which can have serious consequences, such as weight loss, dehydration, and pneumonia leading to death. Many patients with HD die of aspiration

  9. The choreography of neuroinflammation in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crotti, Andrea; Glass, Christopher K

    2015-06-01

    Currently, the concept of 'neuroinflammation' includes inflammation associated with neurodegenerative diseases, in which there is little or no infiltration of blood-derived immune cells into the brain. The roles of brain-resident and peripheral immune cells in these inflammatory settings are poorly understood, and it is unclear whether neuroinflammation results from immune reaction to neuronal dysfunction/degeneration, and/or represents cell-autonomous phenotypes of dysfunctional immune cells. Here, we review recent studies examining these questions in the context of Huntington's disease (HD), where mutant Huntingtin (HTT) is expressed in both neurons and glia. Insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying neuroinflammation in HD may provide a better understanding of inflammation in more complex neurodegenerative disorders, and of the contribution of the neuroinflammatory component to neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis.

  10. Genetic modifiers of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gusella, James F; MacDonald, Marcy E; Lee, Jong-Min

    2014-09-15

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disorder that directly affects more than 1 in 10,000 persons in Western societies but, as a family disorder with a long, costly, debilitating course, it has an indirect impact on a far greater proportion of the population. Although some palliative treatments are used, no effective treatment exists for preventing clinical onset of the disorder or for delaying its inevitable progression toward premature death, approximately 15 years after diagnosis. Huntington's disease involves a movement disorder characterized by chorea, as well as a variety of psychiatric disturbances and intellectual decline, with a gradual loss of independence. A dire need exists for effective HD therapies to alleviate the suffering and costs to the individual, family, and health care system. In past decades, genetics, the study of DNA sequence variation and its consequences, provided the tools to map the HD gene to chromosome 4 and ultimately to identify its mutation as an expanded CAG trinucleotide repeat in the coding sequence of a large protein, dubbed huntingtin. Now, advances in genetic technology offer an unbiased route to the identification of genetic factors that are disease-modifying agents in human patients. Such genetic modifiers are expected to highlight processes capable of altering the course of HD and therefore to provide new, human-validated targets for traditional drug development, with the goal of developing rational treatments to delay or prevent onset of HD clinical signs.

  11. Contribution of Neuroepigenetics to Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francelle, Laetitia; Lotz, Caroline; Outeiro, Tiago; Brouillet, Emmanuel; Merienne, Karine

    2017-01-01

    Unbalanced epigenetic regulation is thought to contribute to the progression of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington's disease (HD), a genetic disorder considered as a paradigm of epigenetic dysregulation. In this review, we attempt to address open questions regarding the role of epigenetic changes in HD, in the light of recent advances in neuroepigenetics. We particularly discuss studies using genome-wide scale approaches that provide insights into the relationship between epigenetic regulations, gene expression and neuronal activity in normal and diseased neurons, including HD neurons. We propose that cell-type specific techniques and 3D-based methods will advance knowledge of epigenome in the context of brain region vulnerability in neurodegenerative diseases. A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying epigenetic changes and of their consequences in neurodegenerative diseases is required to design therapeutic strategies more effective than current strategies based on histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors. Researches in HD may play a driving role in this process.

  12. Targeting the Cholinergic System to Develop a Novel Therapy for Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Souza, Gary X; Waldvogel, Henry J

    2016-12-15

    In this review, we outline the role of the cholinergic system in Huntington's disease, and briefly describe the dysfunction of cholinergic transmission, cholinergic neurons, cholinergic receptors and cholinergic survival factors observed in post-mortem human brains and animal models of Huntington's disease. We postulate how the dysfunctional cholinergic system can be targeted to develop novel therapies for Huntington's disease, and discuss the beneficial effects of cholinergic therapies in pre-clinical and clinical studies.

  13. Huntington's Disease: Speech, Language and Swallowing

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Disease Society of America Huntington's Disease Youth Organization Movement Disorder Society National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke Typical Speech and Language Development Learning More Than One Language Adult Speech and Language Child Speech and Language Swallowing ...

  14. Huntington's disease: a clinical review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roos Raymund AC

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Huntington disease (HD is a rare neurodegenerative disorder of the central nervous system characterized by unwanted choreatic movements, behavioral and psychiatric disturbances and dementia. Prevalence in the Caucasian population is estimated at 1/10,000-1/20,000. Mean age at onset of symptoms is 30-50 years. In some cases symptoms start before the age of 20 years with behavior disturbances and learning difficulties at school (Juvenile Huntington's disease; JHD. The classic sign is chorea that gradually spreads to all muscles. All psychomotor processes become severely retarded. Patients experience psychiatric symptoms and cognitive decline. HD is an autosomal dominant inherited disease caused by an elongated CAG repeat (36 repeats or more on the short arm of chromosome 4p16.3 in the Huntingtine gene. The longer the CAG repeat, the earlier the onset of disease. In cases of JHD the repeat often exceeds 55. Diagnosis is based on clinical symptoms and signs in an individual with a parent with proven HD, and is confirmed by DNA determination. Pre-manifest diagnosis should only be performed by multidisciplinary teams in healthy at-risk adult individuals who want to know whether they carry the mutation or not. Differential diagnoses include other causes of chorea including general internal disorders or iatrogenic disorders. Phenocopies (clinically diagnosed cases of HD without the genetic mutation are observed. Prenatal diagnosis is possible by chorionic villus sampling or amniocentesis. Preimplantation diagnosis with in vitro fertilization is offered in several countries. There is no cure. Management should be multidisciplinary and is based on treating symptoms with a view to improving quality of life. Chorea is treated with dopamine receptor blocking or depleting agents. Medication and non-medical care for depression and aggressive behavior may be required. The progression of the disease leads to a complete dependency in daily life, which

  15. Ethical issues and Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kromberg, Jennifer G R; Wessels, Tina-Marié

    2013-10-11

    The practice of genetic counselling gives rise to many ethical dilemmas, and counsellors need to be familiar with the principles of biomedical ethics. The primary principles include respect for autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence and justice. A case of identical twins at 50% risk for Huntington's disease, in which only one twin sought predictive testing for this dominantly inherited disease, created several ethical dilemmas. Another case where predictive testing was carried out on two young children, at high risk, by a laboratory at the request of an adoption agency and a doctor, with a view to giving information to the foster parents, also posed many ethical conundrums for the counsellor. The ethical issues that arose in these cases are discussed in this paper. 

  16. Language impairment in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azambuja, Mariana Jardim; Radanovic, Marcia; Haddad, Mônica Santoro; Adda, Carla Cristina; Barbosa, Egberto Reis; Mansur, Letícia Lessa

    2012-06-01

    Language alterations in Huntington's disease (HD) are reported, but their nature and correlation with other cognitive impairments are still under investigation. This study aimed to characterize the language disturbances in HD and to correlate them to motor and cognitive aspects of the disease. We studied 23 HD patients and 23 controls, matched for age and schooling, using the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination, Boston Naming Test, the Token Test, Animal fluency, Action fluency, FAS-COWA, the Symbol Digit Modalities Test, the Stroop Test and the Hooper Visual Organization Test (HVOT). HD patients performed poorer in verbal fluency (poral comprehension (preading comprehension (p=0.034) and narrative writing (p<0.0001). There was a moderate correlation between the Expressive Component and Language Competency Indexes and the HVOT (r=0.519, p=0.011 and r=0.450, p=0.031, respectively). Language alterations in HD seem to reflect a derangement in both frontostriatal and frontotemporal regions.

  17. [Molecular therapeutic strategies for Huntington's disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milewski, Michał; Hoffman-Zacharska, Dorota; Ball, Jerzy

    2015-01-01

    Huntington's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder of genetic origin that still lacks an effective treatment. Recently, a number of new attempts have been undertaken to develop a successful molecular therapy for this incurable condition. The novel approaches employ, among others, some new methods to selectively silence the mutated gene or to neutralize its toxic protein product. This paper reviews all major strategies that are currently considered for molecular therapy of Huntington's disease while discussing their potential effectiveness regarding the treatment of both the Huntington's disease and a large group of related neurodegenerative disorders associated with abnormal protein aggregation.

  18. Measuring Executive Dysfunction Longitudinally and in Relation to Genetic Burden, Brain Volumetrics, and Depression in Prodromal Huntington Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papp, Kathryn V.; Snyder, Peter J.; Mills, James A.; Duff, Kevin; Westervelt, Holly J.; Long, Jeffrey D.; Lourens, Spencer; Paulsen, Jane S.

    2013-01-01

    Executive dysfunction (ED) is a characteristic of Huntington disease (HD), but its severity and progression is less understood in the prodromal phase, e.g., before gross motor abnormalities. We examined planning and problem-solving abilities using the Towers Task in HD mutation-positive individuals without motor symptoms (n = 781) and controls (n = 212). Participants with greater disease progression (determined using mutation size and current age) performed more slowly and with less accuracy on the Towers Task. Performance accuracy was negatively related to striatal volume while both accuracy and working memory were negatively related to frontal white matter volume. Disease progression at baseline was not associated with longitudinal performance over 4 years. Whereas the baseline findings indicate that ED becomes more prevalent with greater disease progression in prodromal HD and can be quantified using the Towers task, the absence of notable longitudinal findings indicates that the Towers Task exhibits limited sensitivity to cognitive decline in this population. PMID:23246934

  19. Huntington's disease: review and anesthetic case management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cangemi, C F; Miller, R J

    1998-01-01

    Huntington's disease is a dominantly inherited progressive autosomal disease that affects the basal ganglia. Symptoms appear later in life and manifest as progressive mental deterioration and involuntary choreiform movements. Patients with Huntington's disease develop a progressive but variable dementia. Dysphagia, the most significant related motor symptom, hinders nutrition intake and places the patient at risk for aspiration. The combination of involuntary choreoathetoid movements, depression, and apathy leads to cachexia. Factors of considerable concern to the anesthesiologist who treats patients with Huntington's disease may include how to treat frail elderly people incapable of cooperation, how to treat patients suffering from malnourishment, and how to treat patients with an increased risk for aspiration or exaggerated responses to sodium thiopental and succinylcholine. The successful anesthetic management of a 65-yr-old woman with Huntington's disease who presented for full-mouth extractions is described.

  20. Juvenile Huntington disease in Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gatto, Emilia Mabel; Parisi, Virginia; Etcheverry, José Luis; Sanguinetti, Ana; Cordi, Lorena; Binelli, Adrian; Persi, Gabriel; Squitieri, Ferdinando

    2016-01-01

    We analyzed demographic, clinical and genetic characteristics of juvenile Huntington disease (JHD) and it frequency in an Argentinean cohort. Age at onset was defined as the age at which behavioral, cognitive, psychiatric or motor abnormalities suggestive of JHD were first reported. Clinical and genetic data were similar to other international series, however, in this context we identified the highest JHD frequency reported so far (19.72%; 14/71). Age at onset of JHD is challenging and still under discussion. Our findings reinforce the hypothesis that clinical manifestations, other than the typical movement disorder, may anticipate age at onset of even many years. Analyses of JHD cohorts are required to explore it frequency in populations with different backgrounds to avoid an underestimation of this rare phenotype. Moreover, data from selected populations may open new pathways in therapeutic approaches and may explain new potential correlations between HD presentations and environmental or biological factors.

  1. High Protein Diet and Huntington's Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chiung-Mei Chen

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by the huntingtin (HTT gene with expanded CAG repeats. In addition to the apparent brain abnormalities, impairments also occur in peripheral tissues. We previously reported that mutant Huntingtin (mHTT exists in the liver and causes urea cycle deficiency. A low protein diet (17% restores urea cycle activity and ameliorates symptoms in HD model mice. It remains unknown whether the dietary protein content should be monitored closely in HD patients because the normal protein consumption is lower in humans (~15% of total calories than in mice (~22%. We assessed whether dietary protein content affects the urea cycle in HD patients. Thirty HD patients were hospitalized and received a standard protein diet (13.7% protein for 5 days, followed by a high protein diet (HPD, 26.3% protein for another 5 days. Urea cycle deficiency was monitored by the blood levels of citrulline and ammonia. HD progression was determined by the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS. The HPD increased blood citrulline concentration from 15.19 μmol/l to 16.30 μmol/l (p = 0.0378 in HD patients but did not change blood ammonia concentration. A 2-year pilot study of 14 HD patients found no significant correlation between blood citrulline concentration and HD progression. Our results indicated a short period of the HPD did not markedly compromise urea cycle function. Blood citrulline concentration is not a reliable biomarker of HD progression.

  2. Therapeutic advances in Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shannon, Kathleen M; Fraint, Avram

    2015-09-15

    Huntington's disease is a rare hereditary degenerative disease with a wide variety of symptoms that encompass movement, cognition, and behavior. The genetic mutation that causes the disease has been known for more than 20 y, and animal models have illuminated a host of intracellular derangements that occur downstream of protein translation. A number of clinical trials targeting these metabolic consequences have failed to produce a single effective therapy, although clinical trials continue. New strategies targeting the protein at the level of transcription, translation, and posttranslational modification and aggregation engender new hope that a successful strategy will emerge, but there is much work ahead. Some of the clinical manifestations of the illness, particularly chorea, affective symptoms, and irritability, are amenable to palliative strategies, but physicians have a poor evidence base on which to select the best agents. Clinical trials since 2013 have dashed hopes that coenzyme Q10 or creatine might have disease-modifying properties but suggested other agents were safe or hinted at efficacy (cysteamine, selisistat, hydroxyquinoline) and could proceed into later-stage disease modification trials. The hunt for effective symptom relief suggested that pridopidine might be shown effective given the right outcome measure. This review summarizes recent progress in HD and highlights promising new strategies for slowing disease progression and relieving suffering in HD. © 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  3. Cerebrospinal Fluid Biomarkers for Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, Lauren M; Wild, Edward J

    2016-01-01

    Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is enriched in brain-derived components and represents an accessible and appealing means of interrogating the CNS milieu to study neurodegenerative diseases and identify biomarkers to facilitate the development of novel therapeutics. Many such CSF biomarkers have been proposed for Huntington's disease (HD) but none has been validated for clinical trial use. Across many studies proposing dozens of biomarker candidates, there is a notable lack of statistical power, consistency, rigor and validation. Here we review proposed CSF biomarkers including neurotransmitters, transglutaminase activity, kynurenine pathway metabolites, oxidative stress markers, inflammatory markers, neuroendocrine markers, protein markers of neuronal death, proteomic approaches and mutant huntingtin protein itself. We reflect on the need for large-scale, standardized CSF collections with detailed phenotypic data to validate and qualify much-needed CSF biomarkers for clinical trial use in HD.

  4. Error processing in Huntington's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christian Beste

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Huntington's disease (HD is a genetic disorder expressed by a degeneration of the basal ganglia inter alia accompanied with dopaminergic alterations. These dopaminergic alterations are related to genetic factors i.e., CAG-repeat expansion. The error (related negativity (Ne/ERN, a cognitive event-related potential related to performance monitoring, is generated in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC and supposed to depend on the dopaminergic system. The Ne is reduced in Parkinson's Disease (PD. Due to a dopaminergic deficit in HD, a reduction of the Ne is also likely. Furthermore it is assumed that movement dysfunction emerges as a consequence of dysfunctional error-feedback processing. Since dopaminergic alterations are related to the CAG-repeat, a Ne reduction may furthermore also be related to the genetic disease load. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPLE FINDINGS: We assessed the error negativity (Ne in a speeded reaction task under consideration of the underlying genetic abnormalities. HD patients showed a specific reduction in the Ne, which suggests impaired error processing in these patients. Furthermore, the Ne was closely related to CAG-repeat expansion. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The reduction of the Ne is likely to be an effect of the dopaminergic pathology. The result resembles findings in Parkinson's Disease. As such the Ne might be a measure for the integrity of striatal dopaminergic output function. The relation to the CAG-repeat expansion indicates that the Ne could serve as a gene-associated "cognitive" biomarker in HD.

  5. Exercise effects in Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frese, Sebastian; Petersen, Jens A; Ligon-Auer, Maria; Mueller, Sandro Manuel; Mihaylova, Violeta; Gehrig, Saskia M; Kana, Veronika; Rushing, Elisabeth J; Unterburger, Evelyn; Kägi, Georg; Burgunder, Jean-Marc; Toigo, Marco; Jung, Hans H

    2017-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is a relentlessly progressive neurodegenerative disorder with symptoms across a wide range of neurological domains, including cognitive and motor dysfunction. There is still no causative treatment for HD but environmental factors such as passive lifestyle may modulate disease onset and progression. In humans, multidisciplinary rehabilitation has a positive impact on cognitive functions. However, a specific role for exercise as a component of an environmental enrichment effect has been difficult to demonstrate. We aimed at investigating whether endurance training (ET) stabilizes the progression of motor and cognitive dysfunction and ameliorates cardiovascular function in HD patients. Twelve male HD patients (mean ± SD, 54.8 ± 7.1 years) and twelve male controls (49.1 ± 6.8 years) completed 26 weeks of endurance training. Before and after the training intervention, clinical assessments, exercise physiological tests, and a body composition measurement were conducted and a muscle biopsy was taken from M. vastus lateralis. To examine the natural course of the disease, HD patients were additionally assessed 6 months prior to ET. During the ET period, there was a motor deficit stabilization as indicated by the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale motor section score in HD patients (baseline: 18.6 ± 9.2, pre-training: 26.0 ± 13.7, post-training: 26.8 ± 16.4). Peak oxygen uptake ([Formula: see text]) significantly increased in HD patients (∆[Formula: see text] = +0.33 ± 0.28 l) and controls (∆[Formula: see text] = +0.29 ± 0.41 l). No adverse effects of the training intervention were reported. Our results confirm that HD patients are amenable to a specific exercise-induced therapeutic strategy indicated by an increased cardiovascular function and a stabilization of motor function.

  6. Development of biomarkers for Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weir, David W; Sturrock, Aaron; Leavitt, Blair R

    2011-06-01

    Huntington's disease is an autosomal dominant, progressive neurodegenerative disorder, for which there is no disease-modifying treatment. By use of predictive genetic testing, it is possible to identify individuals who carry the gene defect before the onset of symptoms, providing a window of opportunity for intervention aimed at preventing or delaying disease onset. However, without robust and practical measures of disease progression (ie, biomarkers), the efficacy of therapeutic interventions in this premanifest Huntington's disease population cannot be readily assessed. Current progress in the development of biomarkers might enable evaluation of disease progression in individuals at the premanifest stage of the disease; these biomarkers could be useful in defining endpoints in clinical trials in this population. Clinical, cognitive, neuroimaging, and biochemical biomarkers are being investigated for their potential in clinical use and their value in the development of future treatments for patients with Huntington's disease.

  7. Impaired mitochondrial trafficking in Huntington's disease

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Xiao-Jiang; Orr, Adam L.; Li, Shihua

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Impaired mitochondrial function has been well documented in Huntington?s disease. Mutant huntingtin is found to affect mitochondria via various mechanisms including the dysregulation of gene transcription and impairment of mitochondrial function or trafficking. The lengthy and highly branched neuronal processes constitute complex neural networks in which there is a large demand for mitochondria-generated energy. Thus, the impaired mitochondria trafficking in neuronal cells...

  8. Progressive CAG expansion in the brain of a novel R6/1-89Q mouse model of Huntington's disease with delayed phenotypic onset.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vatsavayai, Sarat C; Dallérac, Glenn M; Milnerwood, Austen J; Cummings, Damian M; Rezaie, Payam; Murphy, Kerry P S J; Hirst, Mark C

    2007-04-30

    Transgenic models representing Huntington's disease (HD) have proved useful for understanding the cascade of molecular events leading to the disease. We report an initial characterisation of a novel transgenic mouse model derived from a spontaneous truncation event within the R6/1 transgene. The transgene is widely expressed, carries 89 CAG repeats and the animals exhibit a significantly milder neurological phenotype with delayed onset compared to R6/1. Moreover, we report evidence of progressive somatic CAG expansions in the brain starting at an early age before an overt phenotype has developed. This novel line shares a common genetic ancestry with R6/1, differing only in CAG repeat number, and therefore, provides an additional tool with which to examine early molecular and neurophysiological changes in HD.

  9. A case report of juvenile Huntington disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita Choudhary

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Huntington disease (HD is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by autosomal dominant inheritance, movement disorder, dementia, and behavioural disturbances. It is caused by a mutation in IT15 gene on chromosome 4p16.3, which leads to unstable CAG trinucleotide repeat expansion. The onset of juvenile HD occurs before the 2nd decade of life and comprises approximately 10% of total HD patients. Juvenile HD differs in symptomatology and is usually transmitted from paternal side with genetic anticipation phenomenon. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI of the brain shows specific changes of early affection of caudate nucleus and putamen. Multidisciplinary approach with symptomatic treatment of specific symptoms is the current available management. Gene editing and gene silencing treatment are under trial. Hereby, we introduce a case of an 8-year-old boy, who presented with typical symptoms of juvenile HD, positive family history with genetic anticipation phenomenon and characteristic MRI findings.

  10. Protein oxidation in Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorolla, M Alba; Rodríguez-Colman, María José; Vall-llaura, Núria; Tamarit, Jordi; Ros, Joaquim; Cabiscol, Elisa

    2012-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by expansion of CAG repeats in the huntingtin gene, affecting initially the striatum and progressively the cortex. Oxidative stress, and consequent protein oxidation, has been described as important to disease progression. This review focuses on recent advances in the field, with a particular emphasis on the identified target proteins and the role that their oxidation has or might have in the pathophysiology of HD. Oxidation and the resulting inactivation and/or degradation of important proteins can explain the impairment of several metabolic pathways in HD. Oxidation of enzymes involved in ATP synthesis can account for the energy deficiency observed. Impairment of protein folding and degradation can be due to oxidation of several heat shock proteins and Valosin-containing protein. Oxidation of two enzymes involved in the vitamin B6 metabolism could result in decreased availability of pyridoxal phosphate, which is a necessary cofactor in transaminations, the kynurenine pathway and the synthesis of glutathione, GABA, dopamine and serotonin, all of which have a key role in HD pathology. In addition, protein oxidation often contributes to oxidative stress, aggravating the molecular damage inside the cell. Copyright © 2012 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  11. Predictive testing for Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tibben, Aad

    2007-04-30

    Worldwide, predictive testing for Huntington's disease has become an accepted clinical application that has allowed many individuals from HD-families to proceed with their life without the uncertainty of being at risk. International guidelines have extensively contributed to establishing counselling programmes of high quality, and have served as a model for other genetic disorders. Psychological follow-up studies have increased the insight into the far-reaching impact of test results for all individuals involved. Although the guidelines have served as a useful frame of reference, clinical experience has shown the importance of a case-by-case approach to do justice to the specific needs of the individual test candidate. Issues such as ambiguous test results, lack of awareness in a test candidate of early signs of the disease, non-compliance to the test protocol, or the test candidate's need for information on the relationship between age at onset and CAG-repeat require careful consideration. Receiving a test result is only one of the transition points in the life of an individual at risk; such result needs to be valued from a life-cycle perspective.

  12. Movement sequencing in Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Georgiou-Karistianis, Nellie; Long, Jeffrey D; Lourens, Spencer G; Stout, Julie C; Mills, James A; Paulsen, Jane S

    2014-08-01

    To examine longitudinal changes in movement sequencing in prodromal Huntington's disease (HD) participants (795 prodromal HD; 225 controls) from the PREDICT-HD study. Prodromal HD participants were tested over seven annual visits and were stratified into three groups (low, medium, high) based on their CAG-Age Product (CAP) score, which indicates likely increasing proximity to diagnosis. A cued movement sequence task assessed the impact of advance cueing on response initiation and execution via three levels of advance information. Compared to controls, all CAP groups showed longer initiation and movement times across all conditions at baseline, demonstrating a disease gradient for the majority of outcomes. Across all conditions, the high CAP group had the highest mean for baseline testing, but also demonstrated an increase in movement time across the study. For initiation time, the high CAP group showed the highest mean baseline time across all conditions, but also faster decreasing rates of change over time. With progress to diagnosis, participants may increasingly use compensatory strategies, as evidenced by faster initiation. However, this occurred in conjunction with slowed execution times, suggesting a decline in effectively accessing control processes required to translate movement into effective execution.

  13. Language impairment in Huntington's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Jardim Azambuja

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Language alterations in Huntington's disease (HD are reported, but their nature and correlation with other cognitive impairments are still under investigation. This study aimed to characterize the language disturbances in HD and to correlate them to motor and cognitive aspects of the disease. We studied 23 HD patients and 23 controls, matched for age and schooling, using the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination, Boston Naming Test, the Token Test, Animal fluency, Action fluency, FAS-COWA, the Symbol Digit Modalities Test, the Stroop Test and the Hooper Visual Organization Test (HVOT. HD patients performed poorer in verbal fluency (p<0.0001, oral comprehension (p<0.0001, repetition (p<0.0001, oral agility (p<0.0001, reading comprehension (p=0.034 and narrative writing (p<0.0001. There was a moderate correlation between the Expressive Component and Language Competency Indexes and the HVOT (r=0.519, p=0.011 and r=0.450, p=0.031, respectively. Language alterations in HD seem to reflect a derangement in both frontostriatal and frontotemporal regions.

  14. Major Superficial White Matter Abnormalities in Huntington's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Owen R.; Joshi, Shantanu H.; Squitieri, Ferdinando; Sanchez-Castaneda, Cristina; Narr, Katherine; Shattuck, David W.; Caltagirone, Carlo; Sabatini, Umberto; Di Paola, Margherita

    2016-01-01

    Background: The late myelinating superficial white matter at the juncture of the cortical gray and white matter comprising the intracortical myelin and short-range association fibers has not received attention in Huntington's disease. It is an area of the brain that is late myelinating and is sensitive to both normal aging and neurodegenerative disease effects. Therefore, it may be sensitive to Huntington's disease processes. Methods: Structural MRI data from 25 Pre-symptomatic subjects, 24 Huntington's disease patients and 49 healthy controls was run through a cortical pattern-matching program. The surface corresponding to the white matter directly below the cortical gray matter was then extracted. Individual subject's Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) data was aligned to their structural MRI data. Diffusivity values along the white matter surface were then sampled at each vertex point. DTI measures with high spatial resolution across the superficial white matter surface were then analyzed with the General Linear Model to test for the effects of disease. Results: There was an overall increase in the axial and radial diffusivity across much of the superficial white matter (p < 0.001) in Pre-symptomatic subjects compared to controls. In Huntington's disease patients increased diffusivity covered essentially the whole brain (p < 0.001). Changes are correlated with genotype (CAG repeat number) and disease burden (p < 0.001). Conclusions: This study showed broad abnormalities in superficial white matter even before symptoms are present in Huntington's disease. Since, the superficial white matter has a unique microstructure and function these abnormalities suggest it plays an important role in the disease. PMID:27242403

  15. Discrepancies in reporting the CAG repeat lengths for Huntington's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quarrell, Oliver W; Handley, Olivia; O'Donovan, Kirsty

    2011-01-01

    Huntington's disease results from a CAG repeat expansion within the Huntingtin gene; this is measured routinely in diagnostic laboratories. The European Huntington's Disease Network REGISTRY project centrally measures CAG repeat lengths on fresh samples; these were compared with the original...

  16. Cannabinoid receptor CB2 is expressed on vascular cells, but not astroglial cells in the post-mortem human Huntington's disease brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowie, Megan J; Grimsey, Natasha L; Hoffman, Therri; Faull, Richard L M; Glass, Michelle

    2014-09-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an inherited neurological disease with motor, cognitive and psychiatric symptoms. Characterised by neuronal degeneration, HD pathology is initially apparent in the striatum and cortex. Considerable research has recently suggested that the neurological immune response apparent in brain injury and disease may provide a valuable therapeutic target. Cannabinoid CB2 receptors are localised and up-regulated on a number of peripheral immune cell types following inflammation and injury. However, their cellular location within the human brain during inflammation has not been well characterised. The present study shows CB2 is expressed in human post-mortem striatum in HD. Quantification revealed a trend towards an increase in CB2 staining with disease, but no significant difference was measured compared to neurologically normal controls. In HD striatal tissue, there is an up-regulation of the brains' resident immune cells, with a significant increase in GFAP-positive astrocyte staining at both grade 1 (685±118%) and grade 3 (1145±163%) and Iba1-positive microglia at grade 1 (299±27%) but not grade 3 (119±48%), compared to neurologically normal controls. Both cell types exhibit irregular cell morphology, particularly at higher grades. Using double-labelled immunohistochemistry CB2 receptors are demonstrated not to be expressed on microglia or astrocytes and instead appear to be localised on CD31-positive blood vessel endothelium and vascular smooth muscle. Co-expression analysis suggests that CB2 may be more highly expressed on CD31 positive cells in HD brains than in control brains. Contrasting with evidence from rodent studies suggesting CB2 glial cell localisation, our observation that CB2 is present on blood vessel cells, with increased CD31 co-localisation in HD may represent a new context for CB2 therapeutic approaches to neurodegenerative diseases.

  17. Psychiatric symptoms and CAG expansion in Huntington`s disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weber, M.W.; Schmid, W.; Spiegel, R. [Univ. of Zuerich (Switzerland)

    1996-02-16

    The mutation responsible for Huntington`s disease (HD) is an elongated CAG repeat in the coding region of the IT15 gene. A PCR-based test with high sensitivity and accuracy is now available to identify asymptomatic gene carriers and patients. An inverse correlation between CAG copy number and age at disease onset has been found in a large number of affected individuals. The influence of the CAG repeat expansion on other phenotypic manifestations, especially specific psychiatric symptoms has not been studied intensively. In order to elucidate this situation we investigated the relation between CAG copy number and distinct psychiatric phenotypes found in 79 HD-patients. None of the four differentiated categories (personality change, psychosis, depression, and nonspecific alterations) showed significant differences in respect to size of the CAG expansion. In addition, no influence of individual sex on psychiatric presentation could be found. On the other hand in patients with personality changes maternal transmission was significantly more frequent compared with all other groups. Therefore we suggest that clinical severity of psychiatric features in HD is not directly dependent on the size of the dynamic mutation involved. The complex pathogenetic mechanisms leading to psychiatric alterations are still unknown and thus genotyping does not provide information about expected psychiatric symptoms in HD gene carriers. 40 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  18. Correlations of behavioral deficits with brain pathology assessed through longitudinal MRI and histopathology in the R6/1 mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Rattray

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is caused by the expansion of a CAG repeat in the huntingtin (HTT gene. The R6 mouse models of HD express a mutant version of exon 1 HTT and typically develop motor and cognitive impairments, a widespread huntingtin (HTT aggregate pathology and brain atrophy. Unlike the more commonly used R6/2 mouse line, R6/1 mice have fewer CAG repeats and, subsequently, a less rapid pathological decline. Compared to the R6/2 line, fewer descriptions of the progressive pathologies exhibited by R6/1 mice exist. The association between the molecular and cellular neuropathology with brain atrophy, and with the development of behavioral phenotypes remains poorly understood in many models of HD. In attempt to link these factors in the R6/1 mouse line, we have performed detailed assessments of behavior and of regional brain abnormalities determined through longitudinal, in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI, as well as an end-stage, ex vivo MRI study and histological assessment. We found progressive decline in both motor and non-motor related behavioral tasks in R6/1 mice, first evident at 11 weeks of age. Regional brain volumes were generally unaffected at 9 weeks, but by 17 weeks there was significant grey matter atrophy. This age-related brain volume loss was validated using a more precise, semi-automated Tensor Based morphometry assessment. As well as these clear progressive phenotypes, mutant HTT (mHTT protein, the hallmark of HD molecular pathology, was widely distributed throughout the R6/1 brain and was accompanied by neuronal loss. Despite these seemingly concomitant, robust pathological phenotypes, there appeared to be little correlation between the three main outcome measures: behavioral performance, MRI-detected brain atrophy and histopathology. In conclusion, R6/1 mice exhibit many features of HD, but the underlying mechanisms driving these clear behavioral disturbances and the brain volume loss, still remain unclear.

  19. Unusual early-onset Huntingtons disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, Antonio P; Carod-Artal, Francisco J; Bomfim, Denise; Vázquez-Cabrera, Carolina; Dantas-Barbosa, Carmela

    2003-06-01

    Huntington's disease is an autosomal dominant progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by involuntary movements, cognitive decline, and behavioral disorders leading to functional disability. In contrast to patients with adult onset, in which chorea is the major motor abnormality, children often present with spasticity, rigidity, and significant intellectual decline associated with a more rapidly progressive course. An unusual early-onset Huntington's disease case of an 11-year-old boy with severe hypokinetic/rigid syndrome appearing at the age of 2.5 years is presented. Clinical diagnosis was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction study of the expanded IT-15 allele with a compatible size of 102 cytosine-adenosine-guanosine repeats L-Dopa mildly ameliorated rigidity, bradykinesia, and dystonia. We conclude that Huntington's disease should be included in the differential diagnoses of regressive syndromes of early childhood.

  20. Maternal transmission in sporadic Huntington's disease.

    OpenAIRE

    Sánchez, A; Milà, M.; Castellví-Bel, S; Rosich, M; Jiménez, D; Badenas, C.; ESTIVILL, X.

    1997-01-01

    Huntington's disease is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by the expansion of a (CAG)n repeat in the IT15 gene. Three per cent of cases are sporadic and in those in which family studies have been performed, the origin of the mutation was always paternal. The first sporadic case of Huntington's disease is presented in which a premutated maternal allele of 37 CAG repeats was transmitted expanded to the proband (43 CAG repeats). Molecular analysis of the IT15 gene is extrem...

  1. Impaired motor speech performance in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skodda, Sabine; Schlegel, Uwe; Hoffmann, Rainer; Saft, Carsten

    2014-04-01

    Dysarthria is a common symptom of Huntington's disease and has been reported, besides other features, to be characterized by alterations of speech rate and regularity. However, data on the specific pattern of motor speech impairment and their relationship to other motor and neuropsychological symptoms are sparse. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to describe and objectively analyse different speech parameters with special emphasis on the aspect of speech timing of connected speech and non-speech verbal utterances. 21 patients with manifest Huntington's disease and 21 age- and gender-matched healthy controls had to perform a reading task and several syllable repetition tasks. Computerized acoustic analysis of different variables for the measurement of speech rate and regularity generated a typical pattern of impaired motor speech performance with a reduction of speech rate, an increase of pauses and a marked disability to steadily repeat single syllables. Abnormalities of speech parameters were more pronounced in the subgroup of patients with Huntington's disease receiving antidopaminergic medication, but were also present in the drug-naïve patients. Speech rate related to connected speech and parameters of syllable repetition showed correlations to overall motor impairment, capacity of tapping in a quantitative motor assessment and some score of cognitive function. After these preliminary data, further investigations on patients in different stages of disease are warranted to survey if the analysis of speech and non-speech verbal utterances might be a helpful additional tool for the monitoring of functional disability in Huntington's disease.

  2. Characterization of Behavioral, Neuropathological, Brain Metabolic and Key Molecular Changes in zQ175 Knock-In Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qi Peng

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is caused by an expansion of the trinucleotide poly (CAG tract located in exon 1 of the huntingtin (Htt gene leading to progressive neurodegeneration in selected brain regions, and associated functional impairments in motor, cognitive, and psychiatric domains. Since the discovery of the gene mutation that causes the disease, mouse models have been developed by different strategies. Recently, a new model, the zQ175 knock-in (KI line, was developed in an attempt to have the Htt gene in a context and causing a phenotype that more closely mimics HD in humans. The behavioral phenotype was characterized across the independent laboratories and important features reminiscent of human HD are observed in zQ175 mice. In the current study, we characterized the zQ175 model housed in an academic laboratory under reversed dark-light cycle, including motor function, in vivo longitudinal structural MRI imaging for brain volume, MRS for striatal metabolites, neuropathology, as well as a panel of key disease marker proteins in the striatum at different ages. Our results suggest that homozygous zQ175 mice exhibited significant brain atrophy before the motor deficits and brain metabolite changes. Altered striatal medium spiny neuronal marker, postsynaptic marker protein and complement component C1qC also characterized zQ175 mice. Our results confirmed that the zQ175 KI model is valuable in understanding of HD-like pathophysiology and evaluation of potential therapeutics. Our data also provide suggestions to select appropriate outcome measurements in preclinical studies using the zQ175 mice.

  3. Monkey hybrid stem cells develop cellular features of Huntington's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorthongpanich Chanchao

    2010-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pluripotent stem cells that are capable of differentiating into different cell types and develop robust hallmark cellular features are useful tools for clarifying the impact of developmental events on neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's disease. Additionally, a Huntington's cell model that develops robust pathological features of Huntington's disease would be valuable for drug discovery research. Results To test this hypothesis, a pluripotent Huntington's disease monkey hybrid cell line (TrES1 was established from a tetraploid Huntington's disease monkey blastocyst generated by the fusion of transgenic Huntington's monkey skin fibroblast and a wild-type non-transgenic monkey oocyte. The TrES1 developed key Huntington's disease cellular pathological features that paralleled neural development. It expressed mutant huntingtin and stem cell markers, was capable of differentiating to neural cells, and developed teratoma in severely compromised immune deficient (SCID mice. Interestingly, the expression of mutant htt, the accumulation of oligomeric mutant htt and the formation of intranuclear inclusions paralleled neural development in vitro , and even mutant htt was ubiquitously expressed. This suggests the development of Huntington's disease cellular features is influenced by neural developmental events. Conclusions Huntington's disease cellular features is influenced by neural developmental events. These results are the first to demonstrate that a pluripotent stem cell line is able to mimic Huntington's disease progression that parallels neural development, which could be a useful cell model for investigating the developmental impact on Huntington's disease pathogenesis.

  4. The role of tau in the pathological process and clinical expression of Huntington's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vuono, Romina; Winder-Rhodes, Sophie; de Silva, Rohan

    2015-01-01

    -mortem brain samples from patients with Huntington's disease (n = 16) compared to cases with a known tauopathy and healthy controls. Next, we undertook a genotype-phenotype analysis of a large cohort of patients with Huntington's disease (n = 960) with a particular focus on cognitive decline. We report...... not only on the tau pathology in the Huntington's disease brain but also the association between genetic variation in tau gene and the clinical expression and progression of the disease. We found extensive pathological inclusions containing abnormally phosphorylated tau protein that co-localized in some...... instances with mutant HTT. We confirmed this related to the disease process rather than age, by showing it is also present in two patients with young-onset Huntington's disease (26 and 40 years old at death). In addition we demonstrate that tau oligomers (suggested to be the most likely neurotoxic tau...

  5. Destination and source memory in Huntington's disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    El Haj, M.; Caillaud, M.; Verny, C.; Fasotti, L.; Allain, P.

    2016-01-01

    Destination memory refers to the recall of the destination of previously relayed information, and source memory refers to the recollection of the origin of received information. We compared both memory systems in Huntington's disease (HD) participants. For this, HD participants and healthy adults

  6. A Metabolic Study of Huntington's Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajasree Nambron

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease patients have a number of peripheral manifestations suggestive of metabolic and endocrine abnormalities. We, therefore, investigated a number of metabolic factors in a 24-hour study of Huntington's disease gene carriers (premanifest and moderate stage II/III and controls.Control (n = 15, premanifest (n = 14 and stage II/III (n = 13 participants were studied with blood sampling over a 24-hour period. A battery of clinical tests including neurological rating and function scales were performed. Visceral and subcutaneous adipose distribution was measured using magnetic resonance imaging. We quantified fasting baseline concentrations of glucose, insulin, cholesterol, triglycerides, lipoprotein (a, fatty acids, amino acids, lactate and osteokines. Leptin and ghrelin were quantified in fasting samples and after a standardised meal. We assessed glucose, insulin, growth hormone and cortisol concentrations during a prolonged oral glucose tolerance test.We found no highly significant differences in carbohydrate, protein or lipid metabolism markers between healthy controls, premanifest and stage II/III Huntington's disease subjects. For some markers (osteoprotegerin, tyrosine, lysine, phenylalanine and arginine there is a suggestion (p values between 0.02 and 0.05 that levels are higher in patients with premanifest HD, but not moderate HD. However, given the large number of statistical tests performed interpretation of these findings must be cautious.Contrary to previous studies that showed altered levels of metabolic markers in patients with Huntington's disease, our study did not demonstrate convincing evidence of abnormalities in any of the markers examined. Our analyses were restricted to Huntington's disease patients not taking neuroleptics, anti-depressants or other medication affecting metabolic pathways. Even with the modest sample sizes studied, the lack of highly significant results, despite many being tested, suggests that

  7. Role of Adenosine A2A Receptors in Modulating Synaptic Functions and Brain Levels of BDNF: a Possible Key Mechanism in the Pathophysiology of Huntington's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Teresa Tebano

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available In the last few years, accumulating evidence has shown the existence of an important cross-talk between adenosine A2A receptors (A2ARs and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF. Not only are A2ARs involved in the mechanism of transactivation of BDNF receptor TrkB, they also modulate the effect of BDNF on synaptic transmission, playing a facilitatory and permissive role. The cAMP-PKA pathway, the main transduction system operated by A2ARs, is involved in such effects. Furthermore, a basal tonus of A2ARs is required to allow the regulation of BDNF physiological levels in the brain, as demonstrated by the reduced protein levels measured in A2ARs KO mice. The crucial role of adenosine A2ARs in the maintenance of synaptic functions and BDNF levels will be reviewed here and discussed in the light of possible implications for Huntington's disease therapy, in which a joint impairment of BDNF and A2ARs seems to play a pathogenetic role.

  8. Characterization of neurophysiological and behavioral changes, MRI brain volumetry and 1H MRS in zQ175 knock-in mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taneli Heikkinen

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is an autosomal neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by severe behavioral, cognitive, and motor deficits. Since the discovery of the huntingtin gene (HTT mutation that causes the disease, several mouse lines have been developed using different gene constructs of Htt. Recently, a new model, the zQ175 knock-in (KI mouse, was developed (see description by Menalled et al, [1] in an attempt to have the Htt gene in a context and causing a phenotype that more closely mimics HD in humans. Here we confirm the behavioral phenotypes reported by Menalled et al [1], and extend the characterization to include brain volumetry, striatal metabolite concentration, and early neurophysiological changes. The overall reproducibility of the behavioral phenotype across the two independent laboratories demonstrates the utility of this new model. Further, important features reminiscent of human HD pathology are observed in zQ175 mice: compared to wild-type neurons, electrophysiological recordings from acute brain slices reveal that medium spiny neurons from zQ175 mice display a progressive hyperexcitability; glutamatergic transmission in the striatum is severely attenuated; decreased striatal and cortical volumes from 3 and 4 months of age in homo- and heterozygous mice, respectively, with whole brain volumes only decreased in homozygotes. MR spectroscopy reveals decreased concentrations of N-acetylaspartate and increased concentrations of glutamine, taurine and creatine + phosphocreatine in the striatum of 12-month old homozygotes, the latter also measured in 12-month-old heterozygotes. Motor, behavioral, and cognitive deficits in homozygotes occur concurrently with the structural and metabolic changes observed. In sum, the zQ175 KI model has robust behavioral, electrophysiological, and histopathological features that may be valuable in both furthering our understanding of HD-like pathophyisology and the evaluation of potential therapeutic

  9. Cell-based technologies for Huntington's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mônica Santoro Haddad

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Huntington's disease (HD is a fatal genetic disorder, which causes the progressive breakdown of neurons in the human brain. HD deteriorates human physical and mental abilities over time and has no cure. Stem cell-based technologies are promising novel treatments, and in HD, they aim to replace lost neurons and/or to prevent neural cell death. Herein we discuss the use of human fetal tissue (hFT, neural stem cells (NSCs of hFT origin or embryonic stem cells (ESCs and induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSCs, in clinical and pre-clinical studies. The in vivo use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs, which are derived from non-neural tissues, will also be discussed. All these studies prove the potential of stem cells for transplantation therapy in HD, demonstrating cell grafting and the ability to differentiate into mature neurons, resulting in behavioral improvements. We claim that there are still many problems to overcome before these technologies become available for HD patient treatment, such as: a safety regarding the use of NSCs and pluripotent stem cells, which are potentially teratogenic; b safety regarding the transplantation procedure itself, which represents a risk and needs to be better studied; and finally c technical and ethical issues regarding cells of fetal and embryonic origin.

  10. Wearable Sensors in Huntington Disease: A Pilot Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrzejewski, Kelly L; Dowling, Ariel V; Stamler, David; Felong, Timothy J; Harris, Denzil A; Wong, Cynthia; Cai, Hang; Reilmann, Ralf; Little, Max A; Gwin, Joseph T; Biglan, Kevin M; Dorsey, E Ray

    2016-06-18

    The Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) is the principal means of assessing motor impairment in Huntington disease but is subjective and generally limited to in-clinic assessments. To evaluate the feasibility and ability of wearable sensors to measure motor impairment in individuals with Huntington disease in the clinic and at home. Participants with Huntington disease and controls were asked to wear five accelerometer-based sensors attached to the chest and each limb for standardized, in-clinic assessments and for one day at home. A second chest sensor was worn for six additional days at home. Gait measures were compared between controls, participants with Huntington disease, and participants with Huntington disease grouped by UHDRS total motor score using Cohen's d values. Fifteen individuals with Huntington disease and five controls completed the study. Sensor data were successfully captured from 18 of the 20 participants at home. In the clinic, the standard deviation of step time (time between consecutive steps) was increased in Huntington disease (p Huntington disease, and participants with Huntington disease grouped by motor impairment.

  11. Huntington's Disease and Striatal Signaling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel eRoze

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Huntington’s Disease (HD is the most frequent neurodegenerative disease caused by an expansion of polyglutamines (CAG. The main clinical manifestations of HD are chorea, cognitive impairment and psychiatric disorders. The transmission of HD is autosomal dominant with a complete penetrance. HD has a single genetic cause, a well-defined neuropathology, and informative pre-manifest genetic testing of the disease is available. Striatal atrophy begins as early as 15 years before disease onset and continues throughout the period of manifest illness. Therefore, patients could theoretically benefit from therapy at early stages of the disease. One important characteristic of HD is the striatal vulnerability to neurodegeneration, despite similar expression of the protein in other brain areas. Aggregation of the mutated Huntingtin (HTT, impaired axonal transport, excitotoxicity, transcriptional dysregulation as well as mitochondrial dysfunction and energy deficits, are all part of the cellular events that underlie neuronal dysfunction and striatal death. Among these non-exclusive mechanisms, an alteration of striatal signaling is thought to orchestrate the downstream events involved in the cascade of striatal dysfunction.

  12. Revisiting the neuropsychiatry of Huntington's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Lucio Teixeira

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Huntington's disease (HD is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease classified under the choreas. Besides motor symptoms, HD is marked by cognitive and behavioral symptoms, impacting patients' functional capacity. The progression of cognitive impairment and neuropsychiatric symptoms occur in parallel with neurodegeneration. The nature of these symptoms is very dynamic, and the major clinical challenges include executive dysfunction, apathy, depression and irritability. Herein, we provide a focused updated review on the cognitive and psychiatric features of HD.

  13. The Cambridge MRI database for animal models of Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawiak, Stephen J; Morton, A Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    We describe the Cambridge animal brain magnetic resonance imaging repository comprising 400 datasets to date from mouse models of Huntington disease. The data include raw images as well as segmented grey and white matter images with maps of cortical thickness. All images and phenotypic data for each subject are freely-available without restriction from (http://www.dspace.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/243361/). Software and anatomical population templates optimised for animal brain analysis with MRI are also available from this site.

  14. Normal CAG and CCG repeats in the Huntington`s disease genes of Parkinson`s disease patients

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rubinsztein, D.C.; Leggo, J.; Barton, D.E. [Cambridge Univ. (United Kingdom)] [and others

    1995-04-24

    The clinical features of Parkinson`s disease, particularly rigidity and bradykinesia and occasionally tremor, are seen in juvenile-onset Huntington`s disease. Therefore, the CAG and CCG repeats in the Huntington`s disease gene were investigated in 45 Parkinson`s disease patients and compared to 40 control individuals. All of the Parkinson`s disease chromosomes fell within the normal size ranges. In addition, the distributions of the two repeats in the Parkinson`s disease patients did not differ significantly from those of the control population. Therefore, abnormalities of these trinucleotide repeats in the Huntington`s disease gene are not likely to contribute to the pathogenesis of Parkinson`s disease. 12 refs., 2 figs.

  15. iPSC-based drug screening for Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ningzhe; Bailus, Barbara J; Ring, Karen L; Ellerby, Lisa M

    2016-05-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder, caused by an expansion of the CAG repeat in exon 1 of the huntingtin gene. The disease generally manifests in middle age with both physical and mental symptoms. There are no effective treatments or cures and death usually occurs 10-20 years after initial symptoms. Since the original identification of the Huntington disease associated gene, in 1993, a variety of models have been created and used to advance our understanding of HD. The most recent advances have utilized stem cell models derived from HD-patient induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offering a variety of screening and model options that were not previously available. The discovery and advancement of technology to make human iPSCs has allowed for a more thorough characterization of human HD on a cellular and developmental level. The interaction between the genome editing and the stem cell fields promises to further expand the variety of HD cellular models available for researchers. In this review, we will discuss the history of Huntington's disease models, common screening assays, currently available models and future directions for modeling HD using iPSCs-derived from HD patients. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: PSC and the brain. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Molecular diagnostic analysis for Huntington's disease: a prospective evaluation.

    OpenAIRE

    MacMillan, J C; Davies, P.; Harper, P S

    1995-01-01

    The availability of mutation analysis for the CAG repeat expansion associated with Huntington's disease has prompted clinicians in various specialties to request testing of samples from patients displaying clinical features that might be attributable to Huntington's disease. A series of 38 cases presenting with clinical features thought possibly to be due to Huntington's disease were analysed prospectively. In 53% of such cases presenting initially with chorea and 62.5% with psychiatric sympt...

  17. Recent Trends in Detection of Huntingtin and Preclinical Models of Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantha, Neelima; Das, Nandita G; Das, Sudip K

    2014-01-01

    Huntington's disease is a genetically inherited neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by neuronal cell death in the brain. Molecular biology techniques to detect and quantify huntingtin protein in biological samples involve fluorescence imaging, western blotting, and PCR. Modified cell lines are widely used as models for Huntington's disease for preclinical screening of drugs to study their ability to suppress the expression of huntingtin. Although worm and fly species have been experimented on as models for Huntington's disease, the most successful animal models have been reported to be primates. This review critically analyses the molecular biology techniques for detection and quantitation of huntingtin and evaluates the various animal species for use as models for Huntington's disease.

  18. Current status of PET imaging in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagano, Gennaro; Niccolini, Flavia; Politis, Marios

    2016-06-01

    To review the developments of recent decades and the current status of PET molecular imaging in Huntington's disease (HD). A systematic review of PET studies in HD was performed. The MEDLINE, Web of Science, Cochrane and Scopus databases were searched for articles in all languages published up to 19 August 2015 using the major medical subject heading "Huntington Disease" combined with text and key words "Huntington Disease", "Neuroimaging" and "PET". Only peer-reviewed, primary research studies in HD patients and premanifest HD carriers, and studies in which clinical features were described in association with PET neuroimaging results, were included in this review. Reviews, case reports and nonhuman studies were excluded. A total of 54 PET studies were identified and analysed in this review. Brain metabolism ([(18)F]FDG and [(15)O]H2O), presynaptic ([(18)F]fluorodopa, [(11)C]β-CIT and [(11)C]DTBZ) and postsynaptic ([(11)C]SCH22390, [(11)C]FLB457 and [(11)C]raclopride) dopaminergic function, phosphodiesterases ([(18)F]JNJ42259152, [(18)F]MNI-659 and [(11)C]IMA107), and adenosine ([(18)F]CPFPX), cannabinoid ([(18)F]MK-9470), opioid ([(11)C]diprenorphine) and GABA ([(11)C]flumazenil) receptors were evaluated as potential biomarkers for monitoring disease progression and for assessing the development and efficacy of novel disease-modifying drugs in premanifest HD carriers and HD patients. PET studies evaluating brain restoration and neuroprotection were also identified and described in detail. Brain metabolism, postsynaptic dopaminergic function and phosphodiesterase 10A levels were proven to be powerful in assessing disease progression. However, no single technique may be currently considered an optimal biomarker and an integrative multimodal imaging approach combining different techniques should be developed for monitoring potential neuroprotective and preventive treatment in HD.

  19. The role of tau in the pathological process and clinical expression of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vuono, Romina; Winder-Rhodes, Sophie; de Silva, Rohan; Cisbani, Giulia; Drouin-Ouellet, Janelle; Spillantini, Maria G; Cicchetti, Francesca; Barker, Roger A

    2015-07-01

    Huntington's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by an abnormal CAG repeat expansion within exon 1 of the huntingtin gene HTT. While several genetic modifiers, distinct from the Huntington's disease locus itself, have been identified as being linked to the clinical expression and progression of Huntington's disease, the exact molecular mechanisms driving its pathogenic cascade and clinical features, especially the dementia, are not fully understood. Recently the microtubule associated protein tau, MAPT, which is associated with several neurodegenerative disorders, has been implicated in Huntington's disease. We explored this association in more detail at the neuropathological, genetic and clinical level. We first investigated tau pathology by looking for the presence of hyperphosphorylated tau aggregates, co-localization of tau with mutant HTT and its oligomeric intermediates in post-mortem brain samples from patients with Huntington's disease (n = 16) compared to cases with a known tauopathy and healthy controls. Next, we undertook a genotype-phenotype analysis of a large cohort of patients with Huntington's disease (n = 960) with a particular focus on cognitive decline. We report not only on the tau pathology in the Huntington's disease brain but also the association between genetic variation in tau gene and the clinical expression and progression of the disease. We found extensive pathological inclusions containing abnormally phosphorylated tau protein that co-localized in some instances with mutant HTT. We confirmed this related to the disease process rather than age, by showing it is also present in two patients with young-onset Huntington's disease (26 and 40 years old at death). In addition we demonstrate that tau oligomers (suggested to be the most likely neurotoxic tau entity) are present in the Huntington's disease brains. Finally we highlight the clinical significance of this pathology by demonstrating that the MAPT haplotypes affect the rate

  20. Altered Fractional Anisotropy in Early Huntington's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silky Singh

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is a dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disease best known for chorea. The disorder includes numerous other clinical features including mood disorder, eye movement abnormalities, cognitive disturbance, pendular knee reflexes, motor impersistence, and postural instability. We describe a mild case of HD early in the disease course with depression and subtle neurological manifestations. In addition, we review MRI and diffusion tensor imaging features in this patient. The bicaudate ratio, a measure of caudate atrophy, was increased. Fractional anisotropy values of the bilateral caudate and putamen were increased, signifying neurodegeneration of these structures in HD.

  1. The mTOR kinase inhibitor Everolimus decreases S6 kinase phosphorylation but fails to reduce mutant huntingtin levels in brain and is not neuroprotective in the R6/2 mouse model of Huntington's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frentzel Stefan

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Huntington's disease (HD is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG repeat expansion within the huntingtin gene. Mutant huntingtin protein misfolds and accumulates within neurons where it mediates its toxic effects. Promoting mutant huntingtin clearance by activating macroautophagy is one approach for treating Huntington's disease (HD. In this study, we evaluated the mTOR kinase inhibitor and macroautophagy promoting drug everolimus in the R6/2 mouse model of HD. Results Everolimus decreased phosphorylation of the mTOR target protein S6 kinase indicating brain penetration. However, everolimus did not activate brain macroautophagy as measured by LC3B Western blot analysis. Everolimus protected against early declines in motor performance; however, we found no evidence for neuroprotection as determined by brain pathology. In muscle but not brain, everolimus significantly decreased soluble mutant huntingtin levels. Conclusions Our data suggests that beneficial behavioral effects of everolimus in R6/2 mice result primarily from effects on muscle. Even though everolimus significantly modulated its target brain S6 kinase, this did not decrease mutant huntingtin levels or provide neuroprotection.

  2. Abnormalities in the tricarboxylic Acid cycle in Huntington disease and in a Huntington disease mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naseri, Nima N; Xu, Hui; Bonica, Joseph; Vonsattel, Jean Paul G; Cortes, Etty P; Park, Larry C; Arjomand, Jamshid; Gibson, Gary E

    2015-06-01

    Glucose metabolism is reduced in the brains of patients with Huntington disease (HD). The mechanisms underlying this deficit, its link to the pathology of the disease, and the vulnerability of the striatum in HD remain unknown. Abnormalities in some of the key mitochondrial enzymes involved in glucose metabolism, including the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDHC) and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, may contribute to these deficits. Here, activities for these enzymes and select protein levels were measured in human postmortem cortex and in striatum and cortex of an HD mouse model (Q175); mRNA levels encoding for these enzymes were also measured in the Q175 mouse cortex. The activities of PDHC and nearly all of the TCA cycle enzymes were dramatically lower (-50% to 90%) in humans than in mice. The activity of succinate dehydrogenase increased with HD in human (35%) and mouse (23%) cortex. No other changes were detected in the human HD cortex or mouse striatum. In Q175 cortex, there were increased activities of PDHC (+12%) and aconitase (+32%). Increased mRNA levels for succinyl thiokinase (+88%) and isocitrate dehydrogenase (+64%) suggested an upregulation of the TCA cycle. These patterns of change differ from those reported in other diseases, which may offer unique metabolic therapeutic opportunities for HD patients.

  3. 3-NP-induced neurodegeneration studies in experimental models of Huntington's disease : apoptosis in Huntington's disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vis, Johanna Catharina

    2005-01-01

    This thesis investigates the possible role of apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in Huntington's disease (HD). HD is caused by an expanded CAG repeat in the N-terminal region of the huntingtin protein leading to specific neostriatal neurodegeneration. The sequence of events that leads to this sele

  4. Reduced gluconeogenesis and lactate clearance in Huntington's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Josefsen, Knud; Nielsen, Signe M B; Campos, André

    2010-01-01

    We studied systemic and brain glucose and lactate metabolism in Huntington's disease (HD) patients in response to ergometer cycling. Following termination of exercise, blood glucose increased abruptly in control subjects, but no peak was seen in any of the HD patients (2.0 ± 0.5 vs. 0.0 ± 0.2mM, P...... for gluconeogenesis in HD, possibly contributing to the clinical symptoms of HD. We propose that blood glucose concentration in the recovery from exercise can be applied as a liver function test in HD patients....

  5. Arithmetic Word-Problem-Solving in Huntington's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allain, P.; Verny, C.; Aubin, G.; Pinon, K.; Bonneau, D.; Dubas, F.; Gall, D.L.

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine executive functioning in patients with Huntington's disease using an arithmetic word-problem-solving task including eight solvable problems of increasing complexity and four aberrant problems. Ten patients with Huntington's disease and 12 normal control subjects matched by age and education were tested.…

  6. Comprehension of Complex Discourse in Different Stages of Huntington's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saldert, Charlotta; Fors, Angelika; Stroberg, Sofia; Hartelius, Lena

    2010-01-01

    Background: Huntington's disease not only affects motor speech control, but also may have an impact on the ability to produce and understand language in communication. Aims: The ability to comprehend basic and complex discourse was investigated in three different stages of Huntington's disease. Methods & Procedures: In this experimental group…

  7. Striatal and white matter predictors of estimated diagnosis for Huntington disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulsen, Jane S.; Nopoulos, Peggy C.; Aylward, Elizabeth; Ross, Christopher A.; Johnson, Hans; Magnotta, Vincent A.; Juhl, Andrew; Pierson, Ronald K.; Mills, James; Langbehn, Douglas; Nance, Martha

    2010-01-01

    Previous MRI studies with participants prior to manifest Huntington disease have been conducted in small single-site samples. The current study reports data from a systematic multi-national study during the prodromal period of Huntington disease and examines whether various brain structures make unique predictions about the proximity to manifest disease. MRI scans were acquired from 657 participants enrolled at one of 32 PREDICT-HD research sites. Only prodromal Huntington disease participants (those not meeting motor criteria for diagnosis) were included and subgrouped by estimated diagnosis proximity (Near, Mid, and Far) based upon a formula incorporating age and CAG repeat length. Results show volumes of all three subgroups differed significantly from Controls for total brain tissue, cerebral spinal fluid, white matter, cortical gray matter, thalamus, caudate, and putamen. Total striatal volume demonstrated the largest differences between Controls and all three prodromal subgroups. Cerebral white matter offered additional independent power in the prediction of estimated proximity to diagnosis. In conclusion, this large cross-sectional study shows that changes in brain volume are detectable years to decades prior to estimated motor diagnosis of Huntington disease. This suggests that a clinical trial of a putative neuroprotective agent could begin as much as 15 years prior to estimated motor diagnosis in a cohort of persons at risk for but not meeting clinical motor diagnostic criteria for Huntington disease, and that neuroimaging (striatal and white matter volumes) may be among the best predictors of diagnosis proximity. PMID:20385209

  8. Striatal and white matter predictors of estimated diagnosis for Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulsen, Jane S; Nopoulos, Peggy C; Aylward, Elizabeth; Ross, Christopher A; Johnson, Hans; Magnotta, Vincent A; Juhl, Andrew; Pierson, Ronald K; Mills, James; Langbehn, Douglas; Nance, Martha

    2010-05-31

    Previous MRI studies with participants prior to manifest Huntington disease have been conducted in small single-site samples. The current study reports data from a systematic multi-national study during the prodromal period of Huntington disease and examines whether various brain structures make unique predictions about the proximity to manifest disease. MRI scans were acquired from 657 participants enrolled at 1 of 32 PREDICT-HD research sites. Only prodromal Huntington disease participants (those not meeting motor criteria for diagnosis) were included and subgrouped by estimated diagnosis proximity (Near, Mid, and Far) based upon a formula incorporating age and CAG-repeat length. Results show volumes of all three subgroups differed significantly from Controls for total brain tissue, cerebral spinal fluid, white matter, cortical gray matter, thalamus, caudate, and putamen. Total striatal volume demonstrated the largest differences between Controls and all three prodromal subgroups. Cerebral white matter offered additional independent power in the prediction of estimated proximity to diagnosis. In conclusion, this large cross-sectional study shows that changes in brain volume are detectable years to decades prior to estimated motor diagnosis of Huntington disease. This suggests that a clinical trial of a putative neuroprotective agent could begin as much as 15 years prior to estimated motor diagnosis in a cohort of persons at risk for but not meeting clinical motor diagnostic criteria for Huntington disease, and that neuroimaging (striatal and white matter volumes) may be among the best predictors of diagnosis proximity.

  9. Communication and Huntington's Disease: Qualitative Interviews and Focus Groups with Persons with Huntington's Disease, Family Members, and Carers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartelius, Lena; Jonsson, Maria; Rickeberg, Anneli; Laakso, Katja

    2010-01-01

    Background: As an effect of the cognitive, emotional and motor symptoms associated with Huntington's disease, communicative interaction is often dramatically changed. No study has previously included the subjective reports on this subject from individuals with Huntington's disease. Aims: To explore the qualitative aspects of how communication is…

  10. Unawareness of motor phenoconversion in Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCusker, Elizabeth A; Gunn, David G; Epping, Eric A; Loy, Clement T; Radford, Kylie; Griffith, Jane; Mills, James A; Long, Jeffrey D; Paulsen, Jane S

    2013-09-24

    To determine whether Huntington disease (HD) mutation carriers have motor symptoms (complaints) when definite motor onset (motor phenoconversion) is diagnosed and document differences between the groups with and without unawareness of motor signs. We analyzed data from 550 HD mutation carriers participating in the multicenter PREDICT-HD Study followed through the HD prodrome. Data analysis included demographics, the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) and the Participant HD History of symptoms, self-report of progression, and cognitive, behavioral, and imaging measures. Unawareness was identified when no motor symptoms were self-reported but when definite motor HD was diagnosed. Of 38 (6.91%) with onset of motor HD, almost half (18/38 = 47.36%) had no motor symptoms despite signs of disease on the UHDRS motor rating and consistent with unawareness. A group with motor symptoms and signs was similar on a range of measures to the unaware group. Those with unawareness of HD signs reported less depression. Patients with symptoms had more striatal atrophy on imaging measures. Only half of the patients with newly diagnosed motor HD had motor symptoms. Unaware patients were less likely to be depressed. Self-report of symptoms may be inaccurate in HD at the earliest stage.

  11. The Counselor and Genetic Disease: Huntington's Disease as a Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wexler, Nancy S.

    This speech offers a brief description of Huntington's Disease (HD): its causes, symptoms, and incidence. It then concentrates on the psychological problems of persons one of whose parents had the disease, and the role of the counselor in helping these humans cope with their fears about contacting it themselves. A relatively detailed case study is…

  12. Huntington's Disease: Calcium Dyshomeostasis and Pathology Models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolobkova, Y A; Vigont, V A; Shalygin, A V; Kaznacheyeva, E V

    2017-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a severe inherited neurodegenerative disorder characterized by motor dysfunction, cognitive decline, and mental impairment. At the molecular level, HD is caused by a mutation in the first exon of the gene encoding the huntingtin protein. The mutation results in an expanded polyglutamine tract at the N-terminus of the huntingtin protein, causing the neurodegenerative pathology. Calcium dyshomeostasis is believed to be one of the main causes of the disease, which underlies the great interest in the problem among experts in molecular physiology. Recent studies have focused on the development of animal and insect HD models, as well as patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (HD-iPSCs), to simulate the disease's progression. Despite a sesquicentennial history of HD studies, the issues of diagnosis and manifestation of the disease have remained topical. The present review addresses these issues.

  13. Hypothalamic pathology in Huntington's disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wamelen, Daniel Johannes van

    2014-01-01

    Motor disturbances, cognitive decline and psychiatric symptoms are considered as the key symptoms of Huntington’s disease (HD). Yet, other prevalent features include unintended weight loss, sleep and circadian disturbances and autonomic nervous system dysfunction. The nature of these features suppor

  14. Network topology and functional connectivity disturbances precede the onset of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Deborah L; Rubinov, Mikail; Durgerian, Sally; Mourany, Lyla; Reece, Christine; Koenig, Katherine; Bullmore, Ed; Long, Jeffrey D; Paulsen, Jane S; Rao, Stephen M

    2015-08-01

    Cognitive, motor and psychiatric changes in prodromal Huntington's disease have nurtured the emergent need for early interventions. Preventive clinical trials for Huntington's disease, however, are limited by a shortage of suitable measures that could serve as surrogate outcomes. Measures of intrinsic functional connectivity from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging are of keen interest. Yet recent studies suggest circumscribed abnormalities in resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging connectivity in prodromal Huntington's disease, despite the spectrum of behavioural changes preceding a manifest diagnosis. The present study used two complementary analytical approaches to examine whole-brain resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging connectivity in prodromal Huntington's disease. Network topology was studied using graph theory and simple functional connectivity amongst brain regions was explored using the network-based statistic. Participants consisted of gene-negative controls (n = 16) and prodromal Huntington's disease individuals (n = 48) with various stages of disease progression to examine the influence of disease burden on intrinsic connectivity. Graph theory analyses showed that global network interconnectivity approximated a random network topology as proximity to diagnosis neared and this was associated with decreased connectivity amongst highly-connected rich-club network hubs, which integrate processing from diverse brain regions. However, functional segregation within the global network (average clustering) was preserved. Functional segregation was also largely maintained at the local level, except for the notable decrease in the diversity of anterior insula intermodular-interconnections (participation coefficient), irrespective of disease burden. In contrast, network-based statistic analyses revealed patterns of weakened frontostriatal connections and strengthened frontal-posterior connections that evolved as disease

  15. Cystathionine γ-lyase deficiency mediates neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Bindu D; Sbodio, Juan I; Xu, Risheng; Vandiver, M Scott; Cha, Jiyoung Y; Snowman, Adele M; Snyder, Solomon H

    2014-05-01

    Huntington's disease is an autosomal dominant disease associated with a mutation in the gene encoding huntingtin (Htt) leading to expanded polyglutamine repeats of mutant Htt (mHtt) that elicit oxidative stress, neurotoxicity, and motor and behavioural changes. Huntington's disease is characterized by highly selective and profound damage to the corpus striatum, which regulates motor function. Striatal selectivity of Huntington's disease may reflect the striatally selective small G protein Rhes binding to mHtt and enhancing its neurotoxicity. Specific molecular mechanisms by which mHtt elicits neurodegeneration have been hard to determine. Here we show a major depletion of cystathionine γ-lyase (CSE), the biosynthetic enzyme for cysteine, in Huntington's disease tissues, which may mediate Huntington's disease pathophysiology. The defect occurs at the transcriptional level and seems to reflect influences of mHtt on specificity protein 1, a transcriptional activator for CSE. Consistent with the notion of loss of CSE as a pathogenic mechanism, supplementation with cysteine reverses abnormalities in cultures of Huntington's disease tissues and in intact mouse models of Huntington's disease, suggesting therapeutic potential.

  16. Plants and phytochemicals for Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choudhary, Sunayna; Kumar, Puneet; Malik, Jai

    2013-07-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive motor dysfunction, including chorea and dystonia, emotional disturbances, memory, and weight loss. The medium spiny neurons of striatum and cortex are mainly effected in HD. Various hypotheses, including molecular genetics, oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, metabolic dysfunction, and mitochondrial impairment have been proposed to explain the pathogenesis of neuronal dysfunction and cell death. Despite no treatment is available to fully stop the progression of the disease, there are treatments available to help control the chorea. The present review deals with brief pathophysiology of the disease, plants and phytochemicals that have shown beneficial effects against HD like symptoms. The literature for the current review was collected using various databases such as Science direct, Pubmed, Scopus, Sci-finder, Google Scholar, and Cochrane database with a defined search strategy.

  17. Huntington's Disease: Relationship Between Phenotype and Genotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yi-Min; Zhang, Yan-Bin; Wu, Zhi-Ying

    2017-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant inherited neurodegenerative disease with the typical manifestations of involuntary movements, psychiatric and behavior disorders, and cognitive impairment. It is caused by the dynamic mutation in CAG triplet repeat number in exon 1 of huntingtin (HTT) gene. The symptoms of HD especially the age at onset are related to the genetic characteristics, both the CAG triplet repeat and the modified factors. Here, we reviewed the recent advancement on the genotype-phenotype relationship of HD, mainly focus on the characteristics of different expanded CAG repeat number, genetic modifiers, and CCG repeat number in the 3' end of CAG triplet repeat and their effects on the phenotype. We also reviewed the special forms of HD (juvenile HD, atypical onset HD, and homozygous HD) and their phenotype-genotype correlations. The review will aid clinicians to predict the onset age and disease course of HD, give the genetic counseling, and accelerate research into the HD mechanism.

  18. Disease stage, but not sex, predicts depression and psychological distress in Huntington's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dale, Maria; Maltby, John; Shimozaki, Steve

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Depression and anxiety significantly affect morbidity in Huntington's disease. Mice. models of Huntington's disease have identified sex differences in mood-like behaviours that vary across disease lifespan, but this interaction has not previously been explored in humans with Huntington...

  19. Clinical diagnosis and management in early Huntington's disease: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schiefer J

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Johannes Schiefer,1,* Cornelius J Werner,1,* Kathrin Reetz1,2 1Euregional Huntington Center, 2Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA – Translational Brain Medicine, Department of Neurology, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany *These authors contributed equally to this work Abstract: This review focuses on clinical diagnosis and both pharmacological and nonpharmacological therapeutic options in early stages of the autosomal dominant inherited neurodegenerative Huntington's disease (HD. The available literature has been reviewed for motor, cognitive, and psychiatric alterations, which are the three major symptom domains of this devastating progressive disease. From a clinical point of view, one has to be aware that the HD phenotype can vary highly across individuals and during the course of the disease. Also, symptoms in juvenile HD can differ substantially from those with adult-onset of HD. Although there is no cure of HD and management is limited, motor and psychiatric symptoms often respond to pharmacotherapy, and nonpharmacological approaches as well as supportive care are essential. International treatment recommendations based on study results, critical statements, and expert opinions have been included. This review is restricted to symptomatic and supportive approaches since all attempts to establish a cure for the disease or modifying therapies have failed so far. Keywords: Neurodegeneration, clinical picture, early symptoms, therapy, treatment

  20. Linking SNPs to CAG repeat length in Huntington's disease patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wanzhao; Kennington, Lori A; Rosas, H Diana; Hersch, Steven; Cha, Jang-Ho; Zamore, Phillip D; Aronin, Neil

    2008-11-01

    Allele-specific silencing using small interfering RNAs targeting heterozygous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) is a promising therapy for human trinucleotide repeat diseases such as Huntington's disease. Linking SNP identities to the two HTT alleles, normal and disease-causing, is a prerequisite for allele-specific RNA interference. Here we describe a method, SNP linkage by circularization (SLiC), to identify linkage between CAG repeat length and nucleotide identity of heterozygous SNPs using Huntington's disease patient peripheral blood samples.

  1. Orphan drugs in development for Huntington's disease: challenges and progress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burgunder JM

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Jean-Marc Burgunder1–4 1Swiss Huntington’s Disease Centre, Department of Neurology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland; 2Department of Neurology, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 3Department of Neurology, Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, 4Department of Neurology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China Abstract: Huntington’s disease is a monogenic disorder encompassing a variable phenotype with progressive cognitive, psychiatric, and movement disorders. Knowledge of the mechanisms involved in this disorder has made substantial advances since the discovery of the gene mutation. The dynamic mutation is the expansion of a CAG (cytosine-adenine-guanine repeat in the huntingtin (HTT gene, which is transcribed into an abnormal protein with an elongated polyglutamine tract. Polyglutamine HTT accumulates and is changed in its function in multifaceted ways related to the numerous roles of the normal protein. The protein is expressed in numerous areas of the brain and also in other organs. The major brain region involved in the disease process is the striatum, but it is clear that other systems are involved as well. This accumulated knowledge has now led to the development of treatment strategies based on specific molecular pathways for symptomatic and disease course-modifying treatment. The most proximal way to handle the disturbed protein is to hinder the gene transcription, translation, and/or to increase protein clearance. Other mechanisms now being approached include modulation of energy and intracellular signaling, induction of factors potentially leading to neuroprotection, as well as modulation of glial function. Several clinical trials based on these approaches are now under way, and it is becoming clear that a future disease-modifying therapy will be a combination of several approaches harmonized with symptomatic treatments. In this review, some of the most promising and

  2. Neuronal Ca(2+) dyshomeostasis in Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacomello, Marta; Oliveros, Juan C; Naranjo, Jose R; Carafoli, Ernesto

    2013-01-01

    The expansion of the N-terminal poly-glutamine tract of the huntingtin (Htt) protein is responsible for Huntington disease (HD). A large number of studies have explored the neuronal phenotype of HD, but the molecular aethiology of the disease is still very poorly understood. This has hampered the development of an appropriate therapeutical strategy to at least alleviate its symptoms. In this short review, we have focused our attention on the alteration of a specific cellular mechanism common to all HD models, either genetic or induced by treatment with 3-NPA, i.e. the cellular dyshomeostasis of Ca(2+). We have highlighted the direct and indirect (i.e. transcriptionally mediated) effects of mutated Htt on the maintenance of the intracellular Ca(2+) balance, the correct modulation of which is fundamental to cell survival and the disturbance of which plays a key role in the death of the cell.

  3. Association of Huntington's disease and schizophrenia-like psychosis in a Huntington's disease pedigree

    OpenAIRE

    Guimarães João; Xavier Miguel; Corrêa Bernardo

    2006-01-01

    Abstract Background Huntington's disease (HD) is a dominantly inherited, neurodegenerative disorder due to expansion of a polymorphic trinucleotide repeat in the short arm of chromosome 4. Clinical manifestations consist of a triad of choreic movements, cognitive decline and psychiatric syndromes starting in the fourth to fifth decade. Psychiatric manifestations vary and may precede motor and cognitive changes. Personality changes and depression occur most commonly. Paranoid schizophrenia-lik...

  4. Mental Symptoms in Huntington's Disease and a Possible Primary Aminergic Neuron Lesion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, J. John; Stanley, Michael; Gershon, Samuel; Rossor, M.

    1980-12-01

    Monoamine oxidase activity was higher in the cerebral cortex and basal ganglia of patients dying from Huntington's disease than in controls. Enzyme kinetics and multiple substrate studies indicated that the increased activity was due to elevated concentrations of monoamine oxidase type B. Concentrations of homovanillic acid were increased in the cerebral cortex but not in the basal ganglia of brains of patients with Huntington's disease. These changes may represent a primary aminergic lesion that could underlie some of the mental symptoms of this disease.

  5. Progress in studies of gene therapy for Huntington's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JIN Fan-ying

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is a kind of inherited neurodegenerative disorder characterized by movement problems, cognitive decline and psychiatry disturbance. HD is caused by mutation in gene IT -15 involving the expansion of a trinucleotide (CAG repeat encoding glutamine, which leads to abnormal conformation of huntingtin (Htt protein and finally emerge cytotoxic functions. Currently, HD remains a fatal untreatable disease. Gene therapy for HD discussed in this review is under preclinical studies. Silencing of mutant IT-15 via RNA interference (RNAi or antisense oligonucleotide (ASO has shown some effectiveness in mouse model studies. Increasing the clearance of mutant Htt protein could be achieved by viral-mediated delivery of anti-Htt intrabodies (iAbs or induction of autophagy, and beneficial results have been observed. Ectopic expression of neurotrophic factors, such as nerve growth factor (NGF and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, mediated either by viral vectors or transplantation of genetically modified cells, has also been proved to be effective. Other gene-modifying methods aiming at correction of transcriptional dysregulation by histone modification, activation of endogenous neural stem cells, and normalization of calcium signaling and mitochondrial function, are also under intensive research. Gene therapy for Huntington's disease is promising, yet a long way remains from preclinical studies to clinical trials.

  6. Genetic Mouse Models of Huntington's Disease: Focus on Electrophysiological Mechanisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Cepeda

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available The discovery of the HD (Huntington's disease gene in 1993 led to the creation of genetic mouse models of the disease and opened the doors for mechanistic studies. In particular, the early changes and progression of the disease could be followed and examined systematically. The present review focuses on the contribution of these genetic mouse models to the understanding of functional changes in neurons as the HD phenotype progresses, and concentrates on two brain areas: the striatum, the site of most conspicuous pathology in HD, and the cortex, a site that is becoming increasingly important in understanding the widespread behavioural abnormalities. Mounting evidence points to synaptic abnormalities in communication between the cortex and striatum and cell-cell interactions as major determinants of HD symptoms, even in the absence of severe neuronal degeneration and death.

  7. Systemic delivery of recombinant brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the R6/2 mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giampà, Carmela; Montagna, Elena; Dato, Clemente; Melone, Mariarosa A B; Bernardi, Giorgio; Fusco, Francesca Romana

    2013-01-01

    Loss of huntingtin-mediated BDNF gene transcription has been shown to occur in HD and thus contribute to the degeneration of the striatum. Several studies have indicated that an increase in BDNF levels is associated with neuroprotection and amelioration of neurological signs in animal models of HD. In a recent study, an increase in BDNF mRNA and protein levels was recorded in mice administered recombinant BDNF peripherally. Chronic, indwelling osmotic mini-pumps containing either recombinant BDNF or saline were surgically placed in R6/2 or wild-type mice from 4 weeks of age until euthanasia. Neurological evaluation (paw clasping, rotarod performance, locomotor activity in an open field) was performed. After transcardial perfusion, histological and immunohistochemical studies were performed. We found that BDNF- treated R6/2 mice survived longer and displayed less severe signs of neurological dysfunction than the vehicle treated ones. Primary outcome measures such as brain volume, striatal atrophy, size and morphology of striatal neurons, neuronal intranuclear inclusions and microglial reaction confirmed a neuroprotective effect of the compound. BDNF was effective in increasing significantly the levels of activated CREB and of BDNF the striatal spiny neurons. Moreover, systemically administered BDNF increased the synthesis of BDNF as demonstrated by RT-PCR, and this might account for the beneficial effects observed in this model.

  8. Subtle changes among presymptomatic carriers of the Huntington's disease gene

    OpenAIRE

    S. Kirkwood; Siemers, E.; Hodes, M; Conneally, P; Christian, J.; Foroud, T

    2000-01-01

    OBJECTIVES—To compare the neurological and psychometric characteristics of presymptomatic gene carriers and non-gene carriers who are at risk for developing Huntington's disease so as to characterise early signs of disease and to identify markers of neurological function that could be used to assess the impact of experimental therapies on the progression of disease, even among those who are clinically presymptomatic.
METHODS—A sample of people at risk for Huntington's dis...

  9. Juvenile Huntington's disease: a case report and literature review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes Molón, L; Yáñez Sáez, R M; López-Ibor Alcocer, M I

    2010-01-01

    Huntington's disease is the most frequent neurodegenerative disease with a prevalence of fewer than 10 cases per 10,000 inhabitants; the juvenile form is responsible for less than 10% of all cases. Huntington's disease belongs to the group known as "triad syndromes," which evolve with cognitive, motor and neuropsychiatric manifestations. Around 30% of patients debut with behavioral symptoms, which are a major challenge for management by patients, families, and caregivers. Huntington's disease (HD) is reviewed and a case of juvenile onset is reported in this article. The characteristics of juvenile-onset Huntington's disease (HD) differ from those of adult-onset HD, as chorea does not occur, although bradykinesia, dystonia, and signs of cerebellar disorder, such as rigidity, are present, frequently in association with convulsive episodes and psychotic manifestations.

  10. Huntington disease: DNA analysis in brazilian population

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    RASKIN SALMO

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available Huntington disease (HD is associated with expansions of a CAG trinucleotide repeat in the HD gene. Accurate measurement of a specific CAG repeat sequence in the HD gene in 92 Brazilian controls without HD, 44 Brazilian subjects with clinical findings suggestive of HD and 40 individuals from 6 putative HD families, showed a range from 7 to 33 repeats in normal subjects and 39 to 88 repeats in affected subjects. A trend between early age at onset of first symptoms and increasing number of repeats was seen. Major increase of repeat size through paternal inheritance than through maternal inheritance was observed. Data generated from this study may have significant implications for the etiology, knowledge of the incidence, diagnosis, prognosis, genetic counseling and treatment of HD Brazilian patients.

  11. Huntington's Disease: Pathogenic Mechanisms and Therapeutic Targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Dean J; Renoir, Thibault; Gray, Laura J; Hannan, Anthony J

    2017-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a tandem repeat disorder involving neurodegeneration and a complex combination of symptoms. These include psychiatric symptoms, cognitive deficits culminating in dementia, and the movement disorder epitomised by motor signs such as chorea. HD is caused by a CAG repeat expansion encoding an extended tract of the amino acid glutamine in the huntingtin protein. This polyglutamine expansion appears to induce a 'change of function', possibly a 'gain of function', in the huntingtin protein, which leads to various molecular and cellular cascades of pathogenesis. In the current review, we will briefly describe these broader aspects of HD pathogenesis, but will then focus on specific aspects where there are substantial bodies of experimental evidence, including oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, glutamatergic dysfunction and neuroinflammation. Furthermore, we will review recent preclinical therapeutic approaches targeting some of these pathogenic pathways, their clinical implications and future directions.

  12. Américo Negrette and Huntington's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Moscovich

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The authors present a historical review of the seminal clinical contribution of Professor Américo Negrette, a Venezuelan neurologist, to the evolution of scientific knowledge about Huntington's disease.

  13. Genetics Home Reference: Huntington disease-like syndrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... 21915. Citation on PubMed Wild EJ, Tabrizi SJ. Huntington's disease phenocopy syndromes. Curr Opin Neurol. 2007 Dec;20(6):681-7. Review. Citation on PubMed Reviewed : August 2008 Published : August ...

  14. Episodic Memory Decline in Huntington's Disease, A Binding Deficit?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    El Haj, M.; Caillaud, M.; Fasotti, L.; Verny, C.; Allain, P.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Huntington's disease (HD) is characterized by episodic memory deterioration. Objective: Our paper investigates the cognitive mechanisms that might underlie this decline. To this aim, we tested two executive hypotheses, the binding and the inhibition hypotheses. Methods: Fifteen HD patien

  15. Levodopa responsive parkinsonism in an adult with Huntington's disease

    OpenAIRE

    Racette, B.; Perlmutter, J

    1998-01-01

    A patient is reported on with Huntington's disease who, as an adult, first developed severe parkinsonism with bradykinesia, rigidity, postural instability and festinating gait. His clinical signs were similar to those of the Westphal variant of Huntington's disease except that he also had resting tremor and a supranuclear gaze palsy. Magnetic resonance imaging showed caudate and putamen atrophy. Genetic analysis disclosed 49 triple CAG repeats in allele 1 and 17 in allele 2 ...

  16. [Olanzapine improves chorea in patients with Huntington's disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez-Jiménez, F J; de Toledo, M; Puertas, I; Barón, M; Zurdo, M; Barcenilla, B

    The main treatment for choreatic movements associated to Huntington s disease are the neuroleptic drugs, however, its use causes long term troubles. We describe two patients with a predominantly choreic Huntington s disease, who experience improvement of choreatic movements after introduction of olanzapine to their treatment, being this drug well tolerated. The improvement of chorea suggests that olanzapine has a dopaminergic D2 receptors blocking action.

  17. Widespread heterogeneous neuronal loss across the cerebral cortex in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nana, Alissa L; Kim, Eric H; Thu, Doris C V; Oorschot, Dorothy E; Tippett, Lynette J; Hogg, Virginia M; Synek, Beth J; Roxburgh, Richard; Waldvogel, Henry J; Faull, Richard L M

    2014-01-01

    Huntington's disease is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease characterized by neuronal degeneration in the basal ganglia and cerebral cortex, and a variable symptom profile. Although progressive striatal degeneration is known to occur and is related to symptom profile, little is known about the cellular basis of symptom heterogeneity across the entire cerebral cortex. To investigate this, we have undertaken a double blind study using unbiased stereological cell counting techniques to determine the pattern of cell loss in six representative cortical regions from the frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital lobes in the brains of 14 Huntington's disease cases and 15 controls. The results clearly demonstrate a widespread loss of total neurons and pyramidal cells across all cortical regions studied, except for the primary visual cortex. Importantly, the results show that cell loss is remarkably variable both within and between Huntington's disease cases. The results also show that neuronal loss in the primary sensory and secondary visual cortices relate to Huntington's disease motor symptom profiles, and neuronal loss across the associational cortices in the frontal, parietal and temporal lobes is related to both Huntington's disease motor and to mood symptom profiles. This finding considerably extends a previous study (Thu et al., Brain, 2010; 133:1094-1110) which showed that neuronal loss in the primary motor cortex was related specifically to the motor symptom profiles while neuronal loss in the anterior cingulate cortex was related specifically to mood symptom profiles. The extent of cortical cell loss in the current study was generally related to the striatal neuropathological grade, but not to CAG repeat length on the HTT gene. Overall our findings show that Huntington's disease is characterized by a heterogeneous pattern of neuronal cell loss across the entire cerebrum which varies with symptom profile.

  18. Huntington's disease : functional and structural biomarkers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dumas, Eve Marie

    2012-01-01

    The aims of this thesis were to gain insight into specific disease processes in Huntington’s Disease (HD) and to identify biomarkers. To achieve these aims, cognitive functioning, structural brain characteristics and intrinstic functional brain connectivity of premanifest and early HD subjects were

  19. [Periodontitis determining the onset and progression of Huntington's disease: review of the literature].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez Coyago, María Lourdes; Sánchez Temiño, Victoria Emilia

    2015-10-27

    Huntington's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by the expansion of a CAG triplet in the huntingtin gene. It presents with physical, cognitive and psychiatric impairment at different ages in the adult, and has a fatal prognosis. Other than the number of triplet repetitions, there seem to be other factors that explain the onset of this disease at an earlier age. It is well known that neuroinflammation has a key role in neurodegenerative disorders; Huntington's disease is not an exception to that rule. Neuroinflammation exacerbates neuronal damage produced by mutation, by initiating aberrant activation of microglia cell, as well as astrocyte and dendritic cell dysfunction; also compromising the blood-brain barrier and activating the complement cascade. The latter as a direct and indirect effect of the mutation and other stimuli such as chronic infections. In this study, periodontitis is presented as a model of chronic oral infection and a systemic inflammation source. We hypothesize the potential role of periodontitis in Huntington's disease, and the mechanisms by which it contributes to the early onset and progress of the disease. We considered experimental studies, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, published in both Spanish and English, obtained from the PubMed and SciELO databases. There are various mechanisms that generate brain inflammation in these patients; mechanisms of innate immunity being especially prominent. Chronic oral-dental infections, such as periodontal disease, may be an exacerbating factor that adds to the neuroinflammation of Huntington'’s disease.

  20. The Frequency of Huntington Disease and Huntington Disease-Like 2 in the South African Population.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baine, Fiona K; Krause, Amanda; Greenberg, L Jacquie

    2016-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) has most recently been estimated to affect between 10.6 and 13.7 per 100,000 individuals in European populations. However, prevalence is known to differ geographically. In South Africa, the only published estimates are from a survey performed in the 1970s, an era when the disease was believed to be rare or absent in black individuals and molecular confirmation was absent. The disease phenotype in South Africa is currently attributable to mutations in both the huntington and junctophilin-3 genes, which underlie the well-known HD and the rarer HD-like 2 (HDL2) respectively. This study aimed at providing improved minimum estimates of disease frequency in South Africa, based on molecular genetic testing data. A review of all testing records for HD and HDL2 over a 20-year period was undertaken. HDL2 is virtually indistinguishable on clinical features, thus necessitating its inclusion. Based on molecular diagnostic records, minimum estimates of disease frequency are: 5.1, 2.1 and 0.25 (per 100,000 individuals) for the white, mixed ancestry and black population groups respectively. Although ascertainment remains incomplete, these minimum estimates suggest that disease frequencies are significantly higher than those previously reported in South Africa. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  1. Quantitative 7T phase imaging in premanifest Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Apple, A C; Possin, K L; Satris, G; Johnson, E; Lupo, J M; Jakary, A; Wong, K; Kelley, D A C; Kang, G A; Sha, S J; Kramer, J H; Geschwind, M D; Nelson, S J; Hess, C P

    2014-09-01

    In vivo MR imaging and postmortem neuropathologic studies have demonstrated elevated iron concentration and atrophy within the striatum of patients with Huntington disease, implicating neuronal loss and iron accumulation in the pathogenesis of this neurodegenerative disorder. We used 7T MR imaging to determine whether quantitative phase, a measurement that reflects both iron content and tissue microstructure, is altered in subjects with premanifest Huntington disease. Local field shift, calculated from 7T MR phase images, was quantified in 13 subjects with premanifest Huntington disease and 13 age- and sex-matched controls. All participants underwent 3T and 7T MR imaging, including volumetric T1 and 7T gradient recalled-echo sequences. Local field shift maps were created from 7T phase data and registered to caudate ROIs automatically parcellated from the 3T T1 images. Huntington disease-specific disease burden and neurocognitive and motor evaluations were also performed and compared with local field shift. Subjects with premanifest Huntington disease had smaller caudate volume and higher local field shift than controls. A significant correlation between these measurements was not detected, and prediction accuracy for disease state improved with inclusion of both variables. A positive correlation between local field shift and genetic disease burden was also found, and there was a trend toward significant correlations between local field shift and neurocognitive tests of working memory and executive function. Subjects with premanifest Huntington disease exhibit differences in 7T MR imaging phase within the caudate nuclei that correlate with genetic disease burden and trend with neurocognitive assessments. Ultra-high-field MR imaging of quantitative phase may be a useful approach for monitoring neurodegeneration in premanifest Huntington disease. © 2014 by American Journal of Neuroradiology.

  2. Huntington's disease: from molecular pathogenesis to clinical treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Christopher A; Tabrizi, Sarah J

    2011-01-01

    Huntington's disease is a progressive, fatal, neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expanded CAG repeat in the huntingtin gene, which encodes an abnormally long polyglutamine repeat in the huntingtin protein. Huntington's disease has served as a model for the study of other more common neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. These disorders all share features including: delayed onset; selective neuronal vulnerability, despite widespread expression of disease-related proteins during the whole lifetime; abnormal protein processing and aggregation; and cellular toxic effects involving both cell autonomous and cell-cell interaction mechanisms. Pathogenic pathways of Huntington's disease are beginning to be unravelled, offering targets for treatments. Additionally, predictive genetic testing and findings of neuroimaging studies show that, as in some other neurodegenerative disorders, neurodegeneration in affected individuals begins many years before onset of diagnosable signs and symptoms of Huntington's disease, and it is accompanied by subtle cognitive, motor, and psychiatric changes (so-called prodromal disease). Thus, Huntington's disease is also emerging as a model for strategies to develop therapeutic interventions, not only to slow progression of manifest disease but also to delay, or ideally prevent, its onset.

  3. Unravelling and Exploiting Astrocyte Dysfunction in Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khakh, Baljit S; Beaumont, Vahri; Cachope, Roger; Munoz-Sanjuan, Ignacio; Goldman, Steven A; Grantyn, Rosemarie

    2017-07-01

    Astrocytes are abundant within mature neural circuits and are involved in brain disorders. Here, we summarize our current understanding of astrocytes and Huntington's disease (HD), with a focus on correlative and causative dysfunctions of ion homeostasis, calcium signaling, and neurotransmitter clearance, as well as on the use of transplanted astrocytes to produce therapeutic benefit in mouse models of HD. Overall, the data suggest that astrocyte dysfunction is an important contributor to the onset and progression of some HD symptoms in mice. Additional exploration of astrocytes in HD mouse models and humans is needed and may provide new therapeutic opportunities to explore in conjunction with neuronal rescue and repair strategies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Comprehension of prosody in Huntington's disease.

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    Speedie, L J; Brake, N; Folstein, S E; Bowers, D; Heilman, K M

    1990-07-01

    Patients with Huntington's Disease (HD) who were without dementia were compared to unilateral stroke patients and controls as previously reported in 1983, to discover if they had a prosodic defect. Subjects were presented tape-recorded speech filtered sentences and asked to indicate the tone of voice as happy, sad or angry (affective prosody), or as a question, command or statement (propositional prosody). HD patients were impaired in comprehension of both types of prosody compared to controls but were not different from stroke patients. A second study compared early HD patients with at-risk siblings and spouse controls on comprehension of affective and propositional prosody, discrimination of both types of prosody, rhythm discrimination and tonal memory (Seashore tests). HD patients were impaired in both comprehension and discrimination of all types of prosody. HD patients were less accurate than at-risk patients on the tonal memory task but not on the rhythm discrimination task. These findings suggest compromise in ability to understand the more subtle prosodic aspects of communication which may contribute to social impairment of HD patients very early in the course of the disease.

  5. Hypothalamic-endocrine aspects in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petersén, Asa; Björkqvist, Maria

    2006-08-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a hereditary and fatal disorder caused by an expanded CAG triplet repeat in the HD gene, resulting in a mutant form of the protein huntingtin. Wild-type and mutant huntingtin are expressed in most tissues of the body but the normal function of huntingtin is not fully known. In HD, the neuropathology is characterized by intranuclear and cytoplasmic inclusions of huntingtin aggregates, and cell death primarily in striatum and cerebral cortex. However, hypothalamic atrophy occurs at early stages of HD with loss of orexin- and somatostatin-containing cell populations. Several symptoms of HD such as sleep disturbances, alterations in circadian rhythm, and weight loss may be due to hypothalamic dysfunction. Endocrine changes including increased cortisol levels, reduced testosterone levels and increased prevalence of diabetes are found in HD patients. In HD mice, alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis occurs as well as pancreatic beta-cell and adipocyte dysfunction. Increasing evidence points towards important pathology of the hypothalamus and the endocrine system in HD. As many neuroendocrine factors are secreted into the cerebrospinal fluid, blood and urine, it is possible that their levels may reflect the disease state in the central nervous system. Investigating neuroendocrine changes in HD opens up the possibility of finding biomarkers to evaluate future therapies for HD, as well as of identifying novel targets for therapeutic interventions.

  6. Pridopidine for the treatment of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shannon, Kathleen M

    2016-01-01

    Huntington's disease is a rare dominantly-inherited neurodegenerative disease with motor, cognitive and behavioral manifestations. It results from an expanded unstable trinucleotide repeat in the coding region of the huntingtin gene. Treatment is symptomatic, but a poor evidence baseguides selection of therapeutic agents. Non-choreic derangements in voluntary movement contribute to overall motor disability and are poorly addressed by current therapies. Pridopidine is a novel agent in the dopidine class believed to have 'state dependent' effects at dopamine receptors, thus show promise in the treatment of these disorders of voluntary movement. This review discusses the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of pridopidine and reviews clinical trials supporting development of the drug for HD. This information was culled from literature searches for dopidines, pridopidine, and HD experimental therapeutics in PubMed and at http://www.clinicaltrials.org . There is a compelling need to discover new treatments for motor disability in HD, particularly for non-choreic motor symptoms. While pridopidine failed to achieve its primary efficacy outcomes in 2 large trials, reproducible effects on secondary motor outcomes have fueled an ongoing trial studying higher doses and more focused clinical endpoints. This and phase III trials will define define the utility of pridopidine for HD.

  7. Investigational agents for the management of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Thomas

    2017-02-01

    An inherited, chronic progressive, neurodegenerative disorder is Huntington's disease, characterized by motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms. Predictive genetic testing allows earlier diagnosis and identification of gene carriers for Huntington's disease. These individuals are ideal candidates for testing of therapeutic interventions for disease modification. Areas covered: According to queries in Pubmed, Embase and clinical register databases, research and clinical studies emerge on symptomatic and neuroprotective therapies in Huntington's disease. This review discusses novel agents for symptomatic therapy and disease modification. They are currently in phase I and II of drug development Expert opinion: There are promising, safe and well tolerated compounds for amelioration of motor and neuropsychiatric symptoms, but their efficacy still needs to be proven in clinical trials. Deterioration of mutant huntingtin expression, antiapoptotic or cell death inhibition as disease modifying concepts was efficacious in models of Huntington's disease. However, the risk for clinical trial failures is high not only due to ineffectiveness of the tested agent. Negative study outcomes may also result from design misconceptions, underestimation of the heterogeneity of Huntington's disease, too short study durations and too small study cohorts.

  8. Characterization of conservative somatic instability of the CAG repeat region in Huntington`s disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schaefer, F.V.; Calikoglu, A.S.; Whetsell, L.H. [H.A. Chapman Research Institute of Medical Genetics, Tulsa, OK (United States)

    1994-09-01

    Instability and enlargement of a CAG repeat region at the beginning of the huntingtin gene (IT-15) has been linked with Huntington`s disease. The CAG repeat size shows a highly significant correlation with age-of-onset of clinicial features in individuals with 40 or more repeats who have Huntington disease. The clinical status of nonsymptomatic individuals with 30 to 39 CAG repeats is considered ambiguous. In order to define more carefully the nature of the HD expansion instability, we examined patients in our HD population using a discriminating fluorescence-based PCR approach. The degree of somatic mutation increases with both earlier age of onset and the size of the inherited allele. A single prominent band one repeat larger than the index peak was typical in individuals with 40-41 CAG repeats. Three to four larger bands are typically discerned in individuals with 50 or more repeats. In an extreme example, an individual with approximately 95 repeats had at least 8 prominent bands. Plotting the degree of somatic mutation relative to the size of the HD allele shows somatic mutation activity increases with size. By this approach 40-60% of the alleles in a 40-41 CAG repeat HD loci is represented in the primary allele. In contrast, the primary allele represents a relatively minor proportion of the total alleles for expansions greater than 50 CAG repeats (10-20%). The limited range of somatic mutation suggest that the instability is restricted to very early stages of embryogenesis before tissue development diverges or that persistent somatic instability occurs at a slow rate. Therefore, the properties of somatic instability in Huntington`s disease have aspects that are both in common but also different from that found in other trinucleotide repeat expanding diseases such as myotonic muscular dystrophy and fragile X syndrome.

  9. Exclusion testing in pregnancy for Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyler, A; Quarrell, O W; Lazarou, L P; Meredith, A L; Harper, P S

    1990-01-01

    The results of DNA analysis are presented for a series of 90 couples, with one partner at 50% risk for Huntington's disease (HD), who were referred for exclusion testing in pregnancy over a three year period. Thirty-seven couples were studied in detail. The aims of the study were to evaluate attitudes towards prenatal testing, before pregnancy and afterwards, and the effectiveness of our counseling and methods of organising the service. Problems which could arise in relation to presymptomatic testing are documented. It is concluded that exclusion testing is a valuable form of prediction for some couples, particularly where family structure does not permit prediction for the person at risk. The need for intensive counselling was highlighted by the difficulties experienced by many couples in understanding how the test worked. Particular ethical and organisational problems may arise which require careful consideration beforehand and some recommendations are made. The proportion of couples who will continue to request exclusion testing as pre-symptomatic testing becomes more widely applicable remains unknown. PMID:2145437

  10. DNA instability in replicating Huntington's disease lymphoblasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frati Luigi

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The expanded CAG repeat in the Huntington's disease (HD gene may display tissue-specific variability (e.g. triplet mosaicism in repeat length, the longest mutations involving mitotic (germ and glial cells and postmitotic (neurons cells. What contributes to the triplet mutability underlying the development of HD nevertheless remains unknown. We investigated whether, besides the increased DNA instability documented in postmitotic neurons, possible environmental and genetic mechanisms, related to cell replication, may concur to determine CAG repeat mutability. To test this hypothesis we used, as a model, cultured HD patients' lymphoblasts with various CAG repeat lengths. Results Although most lymphoblastoid cell lines (88% showed little or no repeat instability even after six or more months culture, in lymphoblasts with large expansion repeats beyond 60 CAG repeats the mutation size and triplet mosaicism always increased during replication, implying that the repeat mutability for highly expanded mutations may quantitatively depend on the triplet expansion size. None of the investigated genetic factors, potentially acting in cis to the mutation, significantly influence the repeat changes. Finally, in our experiments certain drugs controlled triplet expansion in two prone-to-expand HD cell lines carrying large CAG mutations. Conclusion Our data support quantitative evidence that the inherited CAG length of expanded alleles has a major influence on somatic repeat variation. The longest triplet expansions show wide somatic variations and may offer a mechanistic model to study triplet drug-controlled instability and genetic factors influencing it.

  11. Genetic diagnosis of Huntington's disease: cases report

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Liao Ting-ting; Wu Wei; Wan Qi; Cui Yu-gui; Liu Jia-yin

    2011-01-01

    Objective:To assess the efficiency of the PCR combined DNA sequencing to ascertain CAG repeat size of Huntington's disease(HD)gene as for gene diagnosis of HD.Method:Three patients with HD were diagnosed genetically with the technology of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis by assessing the CAG repeat size of HD gene.DNA sequencing then was used as verification test for HD gene.Results:Nine members of three nuclear families were included in this study,three patients were HD proband.In those families,CAG repeats of all spouse of propositus were in normal range.CAG repeats of all propositus and their descendants with the normal allele were in normal range,while CAG copy number of the other mobigenous allele was obviously abnormal.Conclusion:PCR combined DNA sequencing can be used to effectively ascertain CAG repeat of HD gene.CAG-repeat expansion mutations were accounted for 99% of HD cases,so HD can be accurately diagnosed by this method.

  12. Genetic Testing for Huntington's Disease in Parkinsonism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, M S; Nagai, Y; Popiel, H A; Fujikake, N; Okamoto, Y; Ahmed, M U; Islam, M A; Islam, M T; Ahmed, S; Rahman, K M; Uddin, M J; Dey, S K; Ahmed, Q; Hossain, M A; Jahan, N; Toda, T

    2010-10-01

    The study was conducted to find out Huntington's disease (HD) by genetic analysis from those presenting with parkinsonism in the Neurology department of Mymensingh Medical College & Hospital. A sample of about 5ml blood was collected by veni puncture in EDTA tube with informed consent from 9 patients & 7 healthy individuals after approval of the institutional ethics committee for genetic study. The neurological disorder along with a complete history and physical findings were recorded in a prescribed questionnaire by the neurologists of Mymensingh Medical College & Hospital. Extraction of genomic DNA from the venous blood using FlexiGene DNA kit (Qiagen, Japan) was performed in Faculty of Veterinary Science, Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh, Bangladesh. The extracted DNA was stored and accumulated and then these DNA were sent to Division of Clinical Genetics, Department of Medical Genetics, Osaka University Medical School, Suita, Osaka 565 0871, Japan for PCR and further analysis. PCR amplification of the CAG repeat in the 1T15 gene was performed with primers HD1 and HD3. HD PCR products revealed the DNA product of about 110bp (no. of CAG repeats=21) to 150bp (no. of CAG repeats=34) in both healthy individual and suspected PD patient DNA.

  13. The use of stem cells in regenerative medicine for Parkinson's and Huntington's Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lescaudron, L; Naveilhan, P; Neveu, I

    2012-01-01

    Cell transplantation has been proposed as a means of replacing specific cell populations lost through neurodegenerative processes such as that seen in Parkinson's or Huntington's diseases. Improvement of the clinical symptoms has been observed in a number of Parkinson and Huntington's patients transplanted with freshly isolated fetal brain tissue but such restorative approach is greatly hampered by logistic and ethical concerns relative to the use of fetal tissue, in addition to potential side effects that remain to be controlled. In this context, stem cells that are capable of self-renewal and can differentiate into neurons, have received a great deal of interest, as demonstrated by the numerous studies based on the transplantation of neural stem/progenitor cells, embryonic stem cells or mesenchymal stem cells into animal models of Parkinson's or Huntington's diseases. More recently, the induction of pluripotent stem cells from somatic adult cells has raised a new hope for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. In the present article, we review the main experimental approaches to assess the efficiency of cell-based therapy for Parkinson's or Huntington's diseases, and discuss the recent advances in using stem cells to replace lost dopaminergic mesencephalic or striatal neurons. Characteristics of the different stem cells are extensively examined with a special attention to their ability of producing neurotrophic or immunosuppressive factors, as these may provide a favourable environment for brain tissue repair and long-term survival of transplanted cells in the central nervous system. Thus, stem cell therapy can be a valuable tool in regenerative medicine.

  14. Association of Huntington's disease and schizophrenia-like psychosis in a Huntington's disease pedigree

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guimarães João

    2006-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Huntington's disease (HD is a dominantly inherited, neurodegenerative disorder due to expansion of a polymorphic trinucleotide repeat in the short arm of chromosome 4. Clinical manifestations consist of a triad of choreic movements, cognitive decline and psychiatric syndromes starting in the fourth to fifth decade. Psychiatric manifestations vary and may precede motor and cognitive changes. Personality changes and depression occur most commonly. Paranoid schizophrenia-like symptoms occur in 6% to 25% of cases. Case report We describe a 55 year-old woman with an 8 yearlong history of behavioural changes, multi-thematic delusions and auditory hallucinations. History and mental state examination were suggestive of paranoid schizophrenia. Neurological examination revealed discrete, involuntary movements affecting her arms and trunk. Genotyping detected an expanded allele (43 trinucleotide repeats. A three-generation-long family history of chorea and schizophrenia-like psychosis was found. Conclusion HD-families have been reported in which schizophrenia-like syndromes emerged in all or most HD-affected members long before they developed extra-pyramidal or cognitive changes. This has been attributed to more than mere coincidence. We hypothesise that in these families the HD gene is transmitted along with a low load of small-effect "psychosis genes" which, in the presence of the severe cognitive changes of HD, manifest as a schizophrenia-like phenotype. Further research is needed in order to clarify the links between genetic loading and the emergence of psychotic symptoms in Huntington's disease.

  15. Everyday cognition in prodromal Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Janet K; Kim, Ji-In; Downing, Nancy; Farias, Sarah; Harrington, Deborah L; Long, Jeffrey D; Mills, James A; Paulsen, Jane S

    2015-03-01

    Assessment of daily functions affected by cognitive loss in prodromal Huntington's disease (HD) is necessary in practice and clinical trials. We evaluated baseline and longitudinal sensitivity of the Everyday Cognition (ECog) scales in prodromal HD and compared self- and companion-ratings. Everyday cognition was self-assessed by 850 participants with prodromal HD and 768 companions. We examined internal structure using confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) on baseline data. For longitudinal analysis, we stratified participants into Low, Medium, and High disease progression groups. We examined ECog scores for group differences and participant-and-companion differences using linear mixed effects regression (LMER). Comparison with the Total Functional Capacity (TFC) scale was made. CFA revealed good fit of a 5-factor model having a global factor (total score), and subfactors (subscales) of memory, language, visuospatial perception, and executive function. At study entry, participants and companions in the Medium and High groups reported significantly worsened everyday cognition as well as significant functional decline over time. Losses became more pronounced and participant and companion ratings diverged as individuals progressed. TFC showed significant functional loss over time in the High group but not in the Medium group. Disease progression is associated with reduced self- and companion-reported everyday cognition in prodromal HD participants who are less than 13 years to estimated motor onset. Our findings suggest companion ratings are more sensitive than participants' for detecting longitudinal change in daily cognitive function. ECog appears more sensitive to specific functional changes in the prodrome of HD than the TFC. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.

  16. Characterisation of aggression in Huntington's disease: rates, types and antecedents in an inpatient rehabilitation setting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Anahita; Sewell, Katherine; Fisher, Caroline A

    2016-10-12

    To systematically review aggression in an inpatient Huntington's cohort examining rates, types and antecedents. Although the prevalence of aggression in Huntington's disease is high, research into this problematic behaviour has been limited. Few studies have investigated the nature of aggressive behaviour in Huntington's disease or antecedents that contribute to its occurrence. A systematic, double-coded, electronic medical file audit. The electronic hospital medical records of 10 people with Huntington's disease admitted to a brain disorders unit were audited for a 90-day period using the Overt Aggression Scale-Modified for Neurorehabilitation framework, yielding 900 days of clinical data. Nine of 10 clients exhibited aggression during the audit period. Both verbal (37·1%) aggression and physical aggression were common (33·8%), along with episodes of mixed verbal and physical aggression (15·2%), while aggression to objects/furniture was less prevalent (5·5%). The most common antecedent was physical guidance with personal care, far exceeding any other documented antecedents, and acting as the most common trigger for four of the nine clients who exhibited aggression. For the remaining five clients, there was intraindividual heterogeneity in susceptibility to specific antecedents. In Huntington's sufferers at mid- to late stages following disease onset, particular care should be made with personal care assistance due to the propensity for these procedures to elicit an episode of aggression. However, given the degree of intraindividual heterogeneity in susceptibility to specific antecedents observed in the present study, individualised behaviour support plans and sensory modulation interventions may be the most useful in identifying triggers and managing aggressive episodes. Rates of aggression in Huntington's disease inpatients can be high. Knowledge of potential triggers, such as personal care, is important for nursing and care staff, so that attempts can be

  17. Advances in the pharmacological management of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Samuel; Jankovic, Joseph

    2010-03-26

    There is inevitable physical, cognitive and behavioural decline in Huntington's disease (HD), a dominantly inherited progressive neurological disorder. The hallmark of the disease is chorea, an involuntary brief movement that tends to flow between body regions. HD is diagnosed clinically with genetic confirmation. Predictive testing is available; however, it should be undertaken with caution in patients at risk for the disease but without clinical disease expression. Ongoing observational trials have identified not only early subtle motor signs, but also striatal volume, verbal memory and olfaction as possible early manifestations of clinical disease. Multiple areas of the brain degenerate, with dopamine, glutamate and GABA being the predominant neurotransmitters affected in HD. Although many pharmacotherapies have been evaluated targeting these neurotransmitters, few well conducted trials for symptomatic or neuroprotective interventions have yielded positive results. Tetrabenazine is one of the better studied and more effective agents for reducing chorea, although with a risk of potentially serious adverse effects. Newer antipsychotic agents such as olanzapine and aripiprazole may have adequate efficacy with a more favourable adverse-effect profile than older antipsychotics for treating chorea and psychosis. In this review, the pathogenesis, epidemiology and diagnosis of HD are discussed as background for understanding potential pharmacological treatment options. Potential strategies to delay the progression of HD that have been studied and are planned for the future are summarized. Although there is no current method to change the course of this devastating disease, education and symptomatic therapies are effective tools available to clinicians and the families affected by HD.

  18. Lessons Learned from the Transgenic Huntington's Disease Rats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rinske Vlamings

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is a fatal inherited disorder leading to selective neurodegeneration and neuropsychiatric symptoms. Currently, there is no treatment to slow down or to stop the disease. There is also no therapy to effectively reduce the symptoms. In the investigation of novel therapies, different animal models of Huntington's disease, varying from insects to nonhuman primates, have been created and used. Few years ago, the first transgenic rat model of HD, carrying a truncated huntingtin cDNA fragment with 51 CAG repeats under control of the native rat huntingtin promoter, was introduced. We have been using this animal model in our research and review here our experience with the behavioural, neurophysiological, and histopathological phenotype of the transgenic Huntington's disease rats with relevant literature.

  19. Oligodendroglial proliferation in presymptomatic Huntington`s disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Myers, R.H.; Friend, J.C.; Cupples, L.A. [School of Medicine, Boston, MA (United States)] [and others

    1994-09-01

    Morphometric studies of the tail of the caudate nucleus were performed on fourteen brain specimens collected from individuals at risk for inheriting HD. Medical records and information obtained from immediate family members indicated that all had died without symptoms of HD. Five of the 14 individuals had 37 or more CAG repeats, as determined by PCR quantification, and were designated HD gene carriers. Nine were determined to be non-carriers. Cell counts of the tail of the caudate nucleus revealed an increased density of oligodendrocytes among the presymptomatic HD gene carriers (carrier mean=41.5, non-carrier mean=20.7; age, sex, repeated measure adjusted F=8.36, p<0.02). While modest proliferation of oligodendrocytes had been reported in response to neurodegeneration, the doubling in density found here is not consistent with that noted in neurodegeneration. Furthermore, the numbers of neurons among the HD gene carriers was not reduced (mean neuron density: carriers = 16.0; non-carriers = 16.2) suggesting that there has been no appreciable neurodegeneration. No astrocyte (mean density: carriers = 25.0; non-carriers = 21.2; p=0.58) or microglial (mean density; carriers = 8.6; non-carriers = 6.1; p=0.21) differences were found. The area of cross-section of the tail of the caudate nucleus for four of the nine non-carriers was such that ten microscope fields could not be accommodated, whereas all of the HD gene carrier specimens could accommodate ten fields in cross-section. Thus the increased density was not a consequence of atrophy of the caudate nucleus among the gene carriers. Altered densitites may reflect developmental effects in HD gene carriers.

  20. Neuroanatomical correlates of cognitive functioning in prodromal Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrington, Deborah L; Liu, Dawei; Smith, Megan M; Mills, James A; Long, Jeffrey D; Aylward, Elizabeth H; Paulsen, Jane S

    2014-01-01

    The brain mechanisms of cognitive impairment in prodromal Huntington disease (prHD) are not well understood. Although striatal atrophy correlates with some cognitive abilities, few studies of prHD have investigated whether cortical gray matter morphometry correlates in a regionally specific manner with functioning in different cognitive domains. This knowledge would inform the selection of cognitive measures for clinical trials that would be most sensitive to the target of a treatment intervention. In this study, random forest analysis was used to identify neuroanatomical correlates of functioning in five cognitive domains including attention and information processing speed, working memory, verbal learning and memory, negative emotion recognition, and temporal processing. Participants included 325 prHD individuals with varying levels of disease progression and 119 gene-negative controls with a family history of HD. In intermediate analyses, we identified brain regions that showed significant differences between the prHD and the control groups in cortical thickness and striatal volume. Brain morphometry in these regions was then correlated with cognitive functioning in each of the domains in the prHD group using random forest methods. We hypothesized that different regional patterns of brain morphometry would be associated with performances in distinct cognitive domains. The results showed that performances in different cognitive domains that are vulnerable to decline in prHD were correlated with regionally specific patterns of cortical and striatal morphometry. Putamen and/or caudate volumes were top-ranked correlates of performance across all cognitive domains, as was cortical thickness in regions related to the processing demands of each domain. The results underscore the importance of identifying structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI) markers of functioning in different cognitive domains, as their relative sensitivity depends on the extent to which

  1. Tetrabenazine is neuroprotective in Huntington's disease mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tang Tie-Shan

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Huntington's disease (HD is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a polyglutamine (polyQ expansion in Huntingtin protein (Htt. PolyQ expansion in Httexp causes selective degeneration of striatal medium spiny neurons (MSN in HD patients. A number of previous studies suggested that dopamine signaling plays an important role in HD pathogenesis. A specific inhibitor of vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT2 tetrabenazine (TBZ has been recently approved by Food and Drug Administration for treatment of HD patients in the USA. TBZ acts by reducing dopaminergic input to the striatum. Results In previous studies we demonstrated that long-term feeding with TBZ (combined with L-Dopa alleviated the motor deficits and reduced the striatal neuronal loss in the yeast artificial chromosome transgenic mouse model of HD (YAC128 mice. To further investigate a potential beneficial effects of TBZ for HD treatment, we here repeated TBZ evaluation in YAC128 mice starting TBZ treatment at 2 months of age ("early" TBZ group and at 6 months of age ("late" TBZ group. In agreement with our previous studies, we found that both "early" and "late" TBZ treatments alleviated motor deficits and reduced striatal cell loss in YAC128 mice. In addition, we have been able to recapitulate and quantify depression-like symptoms in TBZ-treated mice, reminiscent of common side effects observed in HD patients taking TBZ. Conclusions Our results further support therapeutic value of TBZ for treatment of HD but also highlight the need to develop more specific dopamine antagonists which are less prone to side-effects.

  2. Falls in Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grimbergen, Yvette Anna Maria

    2012-01-01

    Falls in Parkinson’s (PD) and Huntington’s disease (HD) are common. 50 % of moderately affected PD patients sustained two or more falls during a prospective follow-up of 6 months. During a 3 month period 40 % of HD patients reported one or more fall. Many falls resulted in minor injuries and 42 % of

  3. Expression pattern of apoptosis-related markers in Huntington's disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vis, José C; Schipper, Ellis; de Boer-van Huizen, Roelie T; Verbeek, Marcel M; de Waal, Rob M W; Wesseling, Pieter; ten Donkelaar, Hans J; Kremer, Berry

    2005-01-01

    Inappropriate apoptosis has been implicated in the mechanism of neuronal death in Huntington's disease (HD). In this study, we report the expression of apoptotic markers in HD caudate nucleus (grades 1-4) and compare this with controls without neurological disease. Terminal transferase-mediated biot

  4. Therapeutic Effect of Berberine on Huntington's Disease Transgenic Mouse Model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenxiao Jiang

    Full Text Available Huntington disease (HD represents a family of neurodegenerative diseases that are caused by misfolded proteins. The misfolded proteins accumulate in the affected brain regions in an age-dependent manner to cause late-onset neurodegeneration. Transgenic mouse models expressing the HD protein, huntingtin, have been widely used to identify therapeutics that may retard disease progression. Here we report that Berberine (BBR, an organic small molecule isolated from plants, has protective effects on transgenic HD (N171-82Q mice. We found that BBR can reduce the accumulation of mutant huntingtin in cultured cells. More importantly, when given orally, BBR could effectively alleviate motor dysfunction and prolong the survival of transgenic N171-82Q HD mice. We found that BBR could promote the degradation of mutant huntingtin by enhancing autophagic function. Since BBR is an orally-taken drug that has been safely used to treat a number of diseases, our findings suggest that BBR can be tested on different HD animal models and HD patients to further evaluate its therapeutic effects.

  5. Synaptopathic mechanisms of neurodegeneration and dementia: Insights from Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyebji, Shiraz; Hannan, Anthony J

    2017-06-01

    Dementia encapsulates a set of symptoms that include loss of mental abilities such as memory, problem solving or language, and reduces a person's ability to perform daily activities. Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, however dementia can also occur in other neurological disorders such as Huntington's disease (HD). Many studies have demonstrated that loss of neuronal cell function manifests pre-symptomatically and thus is a relevant therapeutic target to alleviate symptoms. Synaptopathy, the physiological dysfunction of synapses, is now being approached as the target for many neurological and psychiatric disorders, including HD. HD is an autosomal dominant and progressive degenerative disorder, with clinical manifestations that encompass movement, cognition, mood and behaviour. HD is one of the most common tandem repeat disorders and is caused by a trinucleotide (CAG) repeat expansion, encoding an extended polyglutamine tract in the huntingtin protein. Animal models as well as human studies have provided detailed, although not exhaustive, evidence of synaptic dysfunction in HD. In this review, we discuss the neuropathology of HD and how the changes in synaptic signalling in the diseased brain lead to its symptoms, which include dementia. Here, we review and discuss the mechanisms by which the 'molecular orchestras' and their 'synaptic symphonies' are disrupted in neurodegeneration and dementia, focusing on HD as a model disease. We also explore the therapeutic strategies currently in pre-clinical and clinical testing that are targeted towards improving synaptic function in HD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Neuroimaging as a tool to study the sources of phenotypic heterogeneity in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Gorro, Clara; Camara, Estela; de Diego-Balaguer, Ruth

    2017-08-01

    Huntington's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a triad of motor, cognitive and psychiatric disturbances. There is great variability regarding the prominence and evolution of each type of clinical sign. One possible source of phenotypic heterogeneity could be the more prominent degeneration of specific brain circuits. The scope of this review is to highlight the most recent neuroimaging studies that have analysed the relationship between brain changes and motor, cognitive and psychiatric alterations in Huntington's disease. The results from recent neuroimaging studies are heterogeneous. Although there is a great overlap between the different regions associated with each symptomatic domain, there is some degree of differentiation. For example, the motor network is associated with motor impairment, whereas the ventral striatum is especially involved in emotional deficits related with psychiatric problems. Motor, cognitive and psychiatric impairments are associated with structural and functional brain biomarkers. However, the specificity of the regions involved remains unknown, because these studies focused on specific regions and symptoms. In order to tease apart the neural substrates that underlie the phenotypic heterogeneity in Huntington's disease, multivariate approaches combining brain and behavioural measures related to all symptomatic domains should be considered in the future.

  7. Placebo effect characteristics observed in a single, international, longitudinal study in Huntington's disease.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cubo, E.; Gonzalez, M.; Puerto, I. del; Yebenes, J.G. de; Arconada, O.F.; Gabriel y Galan, J.M.; Kremer, H.P.H.; Warrenburg, B.P.C. van de

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Classically, clinical trials are based on the placebo-control design. Our aim was to analyze the placebo effect in Huntington's disease. METHODS: Placebo data were obtained from an international, longitudinal, placebo-controlled trial for Huntington's disease (European Huntington's Disea

  8. Placebo effect characteristics observed in a single, international, longitudinal study in Huntington's disease.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cubo, E.; Gonzalez, M.; Puerto, I. del; Yebenes, J.G. de; Arconada, O.F.; Gabriel y Galan, J.M.; Kremer, H.P.H.; Warrenburg, B.P.C. van de

    2012-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Classically, clinical trials are based on the placebo-control design. Our aim was to analyze the placebo effect in Huntington's disease. METHODS: Placebo data were obtained from an international, longitudinal, placebo-controlled trial for Huntington's disease (European Huntington's

  9. Employing Real Time PCR for the Diagnosis of Huntington Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frouzandeh Mahjoubi

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: Huntington disease (HD is a dominantly inherited, neurodegenerative disease characterized by choreiform movement disturbances and dementia. The onset age of this disease is varied but usually is between the ages 40-50. Huntington's disease is caused by a triplet-repeat expansion in the IT15 gene (also known as huntingtin or HD which is located on chromosome 4p3.1. Since many clinical picture of HD are indistinguishable from other distinct genetic disorders molecular test such as PCR is the only way to confirm the disease. The aim of this study was to introduce a new and fast technique for the diagnosis of Huntington disease.Materials and Methods: Blood specimens were collected from individuals suspected for Huntington disease and also people with no symptoms and family history of this disease. DNAs were extracted according to standard protocol. Using conventional PCR, patient positive for Huntington disease were diagnosed. Then employing real time PCR on the basis of difference between melting temperature (Tm a new and fast diagnostic method was introduced.Results: Among 29 patients suspected to be HD only 8 HD patients were confirmed using PCR and real time PCR. The numbers of CAG repeat were between 42-50 and melting temperatures were between 89-92.Conclusion: The concept of using melting temperature in real time PCR protocol presented in here could be employed for the rapid diagnosis of the diseases caused by the increased in triple repeat sequences. It is fast, robust and has the potential use for the prenatal diagnosis.

  10. PSYCHIATRIC ASPECTS OF HUNTINGTON DISEASE – CASE REPORTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mirela Batta

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available Background. Huntington disease occurrs rarely, it can be encountered not only by neurologists and psychiatrists but also by other medical practitioners. Its characteristic features are involuntary movements, cognitive disorders and gradual development of dementia. Diagnosis is given on the basis of these clinical features, positive familial anamnesis, with the laboratory exclusion of other neuropsychiatric diseases and with the help of neuroimaging methods (in particular NMR. The disease can be only confirmed by means of genetic analysis.Patients and methods. In this article, four cases of patients with Huntington disease and diverse psychiatric disorders that were hospitalised at the psychiatric department of the Maribor General Hospital between October 2002 and March 2003 are described. All the patients fulfilled the valid criteria for the diagnosis of Huntington disease. However, they differed according to their accompanying psychiatric psychopathology, age and social problems.Conclusions. The purpose of this article is to draw attention to different psychiatric symptoms and clinical manifestations of Huntington disease that are often misleading in the diagnostic process. In addition, exigency of early diagnostics, guidelines for referrals to genetic testing and psychiatric monitoring of these patients are emphasised.

  11. Antidepressants for neuroprotection in Huntington's disease: A review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamwal, Sumit; Kumar, Puneet

    2015-12-15

    Huntington Disease (HD), which is characterized by abnormal dance-like movements, is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a genetic mutation that results in an expanded polyglutamine stretch in the NH2 terminus of huntingtin protein (HTT). The principal neuropathological hallmarks of disease include loss of striatal and cortical projection neurons. HTT is ubiquitously expressed and is implicated in several cellular functions including neurogenesis, cell trafficking and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) production. Major depression is the most common symptom among pre-symptomatic HD carriers and numerous pieces of preclinical evidence have suggested the use of antidepressants in HD not only elevates mood but also slows down the disease progression by activating different neuroprotective mechanism like BDNF/TrkB pathway, MAPK/ERK signalling, neurogenesis and Wnt signalling. HTT plays major role in neurogenesis, a physiological phenomenon that is implicated in some of the behavioral effects of antidepressants. Currently, there is no clinically available treatment that can halt or slow down the progression of HD except tetrabenazine (the only FDA approved drug); however, this drug also induces depression and sedation in patients. In this review, a brief discussion has been made about the mutant HTT that induced various cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying behavioral disorders in HD. Further, an attempt has been made to understand the various cellular mechanisms involved in mediating the neuroprotective effects of antidepressants in HD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Huntington disease: natural history, biomarkers and prospects for therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Christopher A; Aylward, Elizabeth H; Wild, Edward J; Langbehn, Douglas R; Long, Jeffrey D; Warner, John H; Scahill, Rachael I; Leavitt, Blair R; Stout, Julie C; Paulsen, Jane S; Reilmann, Ralf; Unschuld, Paul G; Wexler, Alice; Margolis, Russell L; Tabrizi, Sarah J

    2014-04-01

    Huntington disease (HD) can be seen as a model neurodegenerative disorder, in that it is caused by a single genetic mutation and is amenable to predictive genetic testing, with estimation of years to predicted onset, enabling the entire range of disease natural history to be studied. Structural neuroimaging biomarkers show that progressive regional brain atrophy begins many years before the emergence of diagnosable signs and symptoms of HD, and continues steadily during the symptomatic or 'manifest' period. The continued development of functional, neurochemical and other biomarkers raises hopes that these biomarkers might be useful for future trials of disease-modifying therapeutics to delay the onset and slow the progression of HD. Such advances could herald a new era of personalized preventive therapeutics. We describe the natural history of HD, including the timing of emergence of motor, cognitive and emotional impairments, and the techniques that are used to assess these features. Building on this information, we review recent progress in the development of biomarkers for HD, and potential future roles of these biomarkers in clinical trials.

  13. Iron accumulates in Huntington's disease neurons: protection by deferoxamine.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jianfang Chen

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by a polyglutamine-encoding CAG expansion in the huntingtin gene. Iron accumulates in the brains of HD patients and mouse disease models. However, the cellular and subcellular sites of iron accumulation, as well as significance to disease progression are not well understood. We used independent approaches to investigate the location of brain iron accumulation. In R6/2 HD mouse brain, synchotron x-ray fluorescence analysis revealed iron accumulation as discrete puncta in the perinuclear cytoplasm of striatal neurons. Further, perfusion Turnbull's staining for ferrous iron (II combined with transmission electron microscope ultra-structural analysis revealed increased staining in membrane bound peri-nuclear vesicles in R6/2 HD striatal neurons. Analysis of iron homeostatic proteins in R6/2 HD mice revealed decreased levels of the iron response proteins (IRPs 1 and 2 and accordingly decreased expression of iron uptake transferrin receptor (TfR and increased levels of neuronal iron export protein ferroportin (FPN. Finally, we show that intra-ventricular delivery of the iron chelator deferoxamine results in an improvement of the motor phenotype in R6/2 HD mice. Our data supports accumulation of redox-active ferrous iron in the endocytic / lysosomal compartment in mouse HD neurons. Expression changes of IRPs, TfR and FPN are consistent with a compensatory response to an increased intra-neuronal labile iron pool leading to increased susceptibility to iron-associated oxidative stress. These findings, together with protection by deferoxamine, support a potentiating role of neuronal iron accumulation in HD.

  14. Clinical and genetic features of Huntington disease in Sri Lanka.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumathipala, Dulika S; Jayasekara, Rohan W; Dissanayake, Vajira H W

    2013-12-05

    Huntington disease was one of the first neurological hereditary diseases for which genetic testing was made possible as early as 1993. The study describes the clinical and genetic characteristics of patients with Huntington disease in Sri Lanka. Data of 35 consecutive patients tested from 2007 to 2012 at the Human Genetics Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo was analyzed retrospectively. Clinical data and genetic diagnostic results were reviewed. Statistical analysis was performed using descriptive statistics. Thirty patients had fully penetrant (FP) CAG repeat mutations and 5 had reduced penetrant (RP) CAG repeat mutations. In the FP group mean ages of onset and diagnosis were 37.5 and 40.4 years, while in the RP group it was 63.0 and 64.8 years respectively. The age of diagnosis ranged from 15 to 72 years, with 2 patients with Juvenile onset (60 years) Huntington disease. The symptoms at diagnosis were predominantly motor (32/35 -91%). Three patients had psychiatric and behavioral disorders. The age difference between onset and genetic diagnosis showed significant delay in females compared to males (p Huntington disease in the Sri Lankan study population were similar to that previously reported in literature.

  15. Slowing of neurodegeneration in Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease: future therapeutic perspectives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schapira, Anthony H V; Olanow, C Warren; Greenamyre, J Timothy; Bezard, Erwan

    2014-08-09

    Several important advances have been made in our understanding of the pathways that lead to cell dysfunction and death in Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease. These advances have been informed by both direct analysis of the post-mortem brain and by study of the biological consequences of the genetic causes of these diseases. Some of the pathways that have been implicated so far include mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, kinase pathways, calcium dysregulation, inflammation, protein handling, and prion-like processes. Intriguingly, these pathways seem to be important in the pathogenesis of both diseases and have led to the identification of molecular targets for candidate interventions designed to slow or reverse their course. We review some recent advances that underlie putative therapies for neuroprotection in Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease, and potential targets that might be exploited in the future. Although we will need to overcome important hurdles, especially in terms of clinical trial design, we propose several target pathways that merit further study. In Parkinson's disease, these targets include agents that might improve mitochondrial function or increase degradation of defective mitochondria, kinase inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, and approaches that interfere with the misfolding, templating, and transmission of α-synuclein. In Huntington's disease, strategies might also be directed at mitochondrial bioenergetics and turnover, the prevention of protein dysregulation, disruption of the interaction between huntingtin and p53 or huntingtin-interacting protein 1 to reduce apoptosis, and interference with expression of mutant huntingtin at both the nucleic acid and protein levels. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Age, CAG repeat length, and clinical progression in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblatt, Adam; Kumar, Brahma V; Mo, Alisa; Welsh, Claire S; Margolis, Russell L; Ross, Christopher A

    2012-02-01

    The objective of this study was to further explore the effect of CAG repeat length on the rate of clinical progression in patients with Huntington's disease. The dataset included records for 569 subjects followed prospectively at the Baltimore Huntington's Disease Center. Participants were seen for a mean of 7.1 visits, with a mean follow-up of 8.2 years. Subjects were evaluated using the Quantified Neurologic Examination and its Motor Impairment subscale, the Mini-Mental State Examination, and the Huntington's disease Activities of Daily Living Scale. By itself, CAG repeat length showed a statistically significant but small effect on the progression of all clinical measures. Contrary to our previous expectations, controlling for age of onset increased the correlation between CAG repeat length and progression of all variables by 69% to 159%. Graphical models further supported the idea that individuals with smaller triplet expansions experience a more gradual decline. CAG repeat length becomes an important determinant of clinical prognosis when accounting for age of onset. This suggests that the aging process itself influences clinical outcomes in Huntington's disease. Inconsistent results in prior studies examining CAG repeat length and progression may indeed reflect a lack of age adjustment.

  17. Biological Markers of Cognition in Prodromal Huntington's Disease: A Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papp, Kathryn V.; Kaplan, Richard F.; Snyder, Peter J.

    2011-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD), an autosomal-dominant genetic disorder, has historically been viewed as a degenerative movement disorder but it also includes psychiatric symptoms and progressive cognitive decline. There has been a lack of consensus in the literature about whether or not cognitive signs can be detected in carriers before clinical…

  18. Exploring Genetic Factors Involved in Huntington Disease Age of Onset

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Valcárcel-Ocete, Leire; Alkorta-Aranburu, Gorka; Iriondo, Mikel;

    2015-01-01

    Age of onset (AO) of Huntington disease (HD) is mainly determined by the length of the CAG repeat expansion (CAGexp) in exon 1 of the HTT gene. Additional genetic variation has been suggested to contribute to AO, although the mechanism by which it could affect AO is presently unknown. The aim of ...

  19. The sirtuin 2 inhibitor AK-7 is neuroprotective in Huntington's disease mouse models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chopra, Vanita; Quinti, Luisa; Kim, Jinho; Vollor, Lorraine; Narayanan, K Lakshmi; Edgerly, Christina; Cipicchio, Patricia M; Lauver, Molly A; Choi, Soo Hyuk; Silverman, Richard B; Ferrante, Robert J; Hersch, Steven; Kazantsev, Aleksey G

    2012-12-27

    Inhibition of sirtuin 2 (SIRT2) deacetylase mediates protective effects in cell and invertebrate models of Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease (HD). Here we report the in vivo efficacy of a brain-permeable SIRT2 inhibitor in two genetic mouse models of HD. Compound treatment resulted in improved motor function, extended survival, and reduced brain atrophy and is associated with marked reduction of aggregated mutant huntingtin, a hallmark of HD pathology. Our results provide preclinical validation of SIRT2 inhibition as a potential therapeutic target for HD and support the further development of SIRT2 inhibitors for testing in humans.

  20. A tale of two factors: what determines the rate of progression in Huntington's disease? A longitudinal MRI study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosas, H Diana; Reuter, Martin; Doros, Gheorghe; Lee, Stephanie Y; Triggs, Tyler; Malarick, Keith; Fischl, Bruce; Salat, David H; Hersch, Steven M

    2011-08-01

    Over the past several years, increased attention has been devoted to understanding regionally selective brain changes that occur in Huntington's disease and their relationships to phenotypic variability. Clinical progression is also heterogeneous, and although CAG repeat length influences age of onset, its role, if any, in progression has been less clear. We evaluated progression in Huntington's disease using a novel longitudinal magnetic resonance imaging analysis. Our hypothesis was that the rate of brain atrophy is influenced by the age of onset of Huntington's disease. We scanned 22 patients with Huntington's disease at approximately 1-year intervals; individuals were divided into 1 of 3 groups, determined by the relative age of onset. We found significant differences in the rates of atrophy of cortex, white matter, and subcortical structures; patients who developed symptoms earlier demonstrated the most rapid rates of atrophy compared with those who developed symptoms during middle age or more advanced age. Rates of cortical atrophy were topologically variable, with the most rapid changes occurring in sensorimotor, posterior frontal, and portions of the parietal cortex. There were no significant differences in the rates of atrophy in basal ganglia structures. Although both CAG repeat length and age influenced the rate of change in some regions, there was no significant correlation in many regions. Rates of regional brain atrophy seem to be influenced by the age of onset of Huntington's disease symptoms and are only partially explained by CAG repeat length. These findings suggest that other genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors play important roles in neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease.

  1. Pluripotent hybrid stem cells from transgenic Huntington's disease monkey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laowtammathron, Chuti; Chan, Anthony W S

    2013-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a devastating disease that currently has no cure. Transgenic HD monkeys have developed key neuropathological and cognitive behavioral impairments similar to HD patients. Thus, pluripotent stem cells derived from transgenic HD monkeys could be a useful comparative model for clarifying HD pathogenesis and developing novel therapeutic approaches, which could be validated in HD monkeys. In order to create personal pluripotent stem cells from HD monkeys, here we present a tetraploid technique for deriving pluripotent hybrid HD monkey stem cells.

  2. Family caregivers' views on coordination of care in Huntington's disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Røthing, Merete; Malterud, Kirsti; Frich, Jan C

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Collaboration between family caregivers and health professionals in specialised hospitals or community-based primary healthcare systems can be challenging. During the course of severe chronic disease, several health professionals might be involved at a given time, and the patient......'s illness may be unpredictable or not well understood by some of those involved in the treatment and care. AIM: The aim of this study was to explore the experiences and expectations of family caregivers for persons with Huntington's disease concerning collaboration with healthcare professionals. METHODS......: To shed light on collaboration from the perspectives of family caregivers, we conducted an explorative, qualitative interview study with 15 adult participants experienced from caring for family members in all stages of Huntington's disease. Data were analysed with systematic text condensation, a cross...

  3. Somatic instability of the expanded allele of IT-15 from patients with Huntington disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stine, O.C.; Pleasant, N.; Ross, C.A. [Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore, MD (United States)] [and others

    1994-09-01

    Huntington`s disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expanded trinucleotide repeat in the gene IT-15. Although the expanded allele of IT-15 is unstable during gametogenesis, particularly, spermatogenesis, it is not clear if there is somatic stability. There are two reports of stability and one of instability. In order to test whether somatic instability occurs in the expansions found in HD, we have compared amplified genomic DNA isolated from either blood or distinct regions of autopsied brains of persons with Huntington disease. We find that somatic variation occurs in at least two ways. First, in cases with longer repeats (n > 47), the cerebellum often (8 of 9 cases) has a smaller number of repeats (2 to 10 less) than other tested regions of the brain. The larger the expanded allele, the larger the reduction in size of the repeat in the cerebellum (r=0.94, p<0.0001, df=12). Second, regardless of the repeat size, the number of amplification products from genomic DNA isolated from the cerebellum is smaller than that from genomic DNA from other forebrain regions such as the dorsal parietal cortex. As the length of the expanded allele increases, the number of amplification products increase in either tissue (r=0.86, p<0.001, df=12). Therefore our data demonstrates somatic instability especially for longer repeats.

  4. Single sperm analysis of the trinucleotide repeat in the Huntington`s disease gene

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leeflang, E.P.; Zhang, L.; Hubert, R. [Univ. of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA (United States)] [and others

    1994-09-01

    Huntington`s disease (HD) is one of several genetic diseases caused by trinucleotide repeat expansion. The CAG repeat is very unstable, with size changes occurring in more than 80% of transmissions. The degree of instability of this repeat in the male germline can be determined by analysis of individual sperm cells. An easy and sensitive PCR assay has been developed to amplify this trinucleotide repeat region from single sperm using two rounds of PCR. As many as 90% of the single sperm show amplification for the HD repeat. The PCR product can be easily detected on an ethidium bromide-stained agarose gel. Single sperm samples from an HD patient with 18 and 49 repeats were studied. We observed size variations for the expanded alleles while the size of the normal allele in sperm is very consistent. We did not detect any significant bias in the amplification of normal alleles over the larger HD alleles. Our preliminary study supports the observation made by PCR of total sperm that instability of the HD trinucleotide repeat occurs in the germline. HD preimplantation diagnosis on single embryo blastomeres may also possible.

  5. Informativeness of Early Huntington Disease Signs about Gene Status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oster, Emily; Eberly, Shirley W; Dorsey, E Ray; Kayson-Rubin, Elise; Oakes, David; Shoulson, Ira

    2015-01-01

    The cohort-level risk of Huntington disease (HD) is related to the age and symptom level of the cohort, but this relationship has not been made precise. To predict the evolving likelihood of carrying the Huntington disease (HD) gene for at-risk adults using age and sign level. Using data from adults with early signs and symptoms of HD linked to information on genetic status, we use Bayes' theorem to calculate the probability that an undiagnosed individual of a certain age and sign level has an expanded CAG repeat. Both age and sign levels have substantial influence on the likelihood of HD onset, and the probability of eventual diagnosis changes as those at risk age and exhibit (or fail to exhibit) symptoms. For example, our data suggest that in a cohort of individuals age 26 with a Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) motor score of 7-10 70% of them will carry the HD mutation. For individuals age 56, the same motor score suggests only a 40% chance of carrying the mutation. Early motor signs of HD, overall and the chorea subscore, were highly predictive of disease onset at any age. However, body mass index (BMI) and cognitive performance scores were not as highly predictive. These results suggest that if researchers or clinicians are looking for early clues of HD, it may be more foretelling to look at motor rather than cognitive signs. Application of similar approaches could be used with other adult-onset genetic conditions.

  6. Psychodynamic theory and counseling in predictive testing for Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tassicker, Roslyn J

    2005-04-01

    This paper revisits psychodynamic theory, which can be applied in predictive testing counseling for Huntington's Disease (HD). Psychodynamic theory has developed from the work of Freud and places importance on early parent-child experiences. The nature of these relationships, or attachments are reflected in adult expectations and relationships. Two significant concepts, identification and fear of abandonment, have been developed and expounded by the psychodynamic theorist, Melanie Klein. The processes of identification and fear of abandonment can become evident in predictive testing counseling and are colored by the client's experience of growing up with a parent affected by Huntington's Disease. In reflecting on family-of-origin experiences, clients can also express implied expectations of the future, and future relationships. Case examples are given to illustrate the dynamic processes of identification and fear of abandonment which may present in the clinical setting. Counselor recognition of these processes can illuminate and inform counseling practice.

  7. Striatal degeneration impairs language learning: evidence from Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Diego-Balaguer, R; Couette, M; Dolbeau, G; Dürr, A; Youssov, K; Bachoud-Lévi, A-C

    2008-11-01

    Although the role of the striatum in language processing is still largely unclear, a number of recent proposals have outlined its specific contribution. Different studies report evidence converging to a picture where the striatum may be involved in those aspects of rule-application requiring non-automatized behaviour. This is the main characteristic of the earliest phases of language acquisition that require the online detection of distant dependencies and the creation of syntactic categories by means of rule learning. Learning of sequences and categorization processes in non-language domains has been known to require striatal recruitment. Thus, we hypothesized that the striatum should play a prominent role in the extraction of rules in learning a language. We studied 13 pre-symptomatic gene-carriers and 22 early stage patients of Huntington's disease (pre-HD), both characterized by a progressive degeneration of the striatum and 21 late stage patients Huntington's disease (18 stage II, two stage III and one stage IV) where cortical degeneration accompanies striatal degeneration. When presented with a simplified artificial language where words and rules could be extracted, early stage Huntington's disease patients (stage I) were impaired in the learning test, demonstrating a greater impairment in rule than word learning compared to the 20 age- and education-matched controls. Huntington's disease patients at later stages were impaired both on word and rule learning. While spared in their overall performance, gene-carriers having learned a set of abstract artificial language rules were then impaired in the transfer of those rules to similar artificial language structures. The correlation analyses among several neuropsychological tests assessing executive function showed that rule learning correlated with tests requiring working memory and attentional control, while word learning correlated with a test involving episodic memory. These learning impairments significantly

  8. Long-term outcome of presymptomatic testing in Huntington disease

    OpenAIRE

    Gargiulo, Marcela; Lejeune, Séverine; Tanguy, Marie-Laure; Lahlou-Laforêt, Khadija; Faudet, Anne; Cohen, David; Feingold, Josué; Durr, Alexandra

    2008-01-01

    Our study on long-term outcome of presymptomatic testing for Huntington disease had two aims: the comparison of the psychological well-being and social adjustment of carriers and non-carriers of the mutation, and the identification of psychological determinants to improve care/support of testees. We performed a cross-sectional study of 351 persons who underwent presymptomatic testing. Those who had motor signs were excluded from the comparison of asymptomatic carrier and non-carriers. A struc...

  9. Crime in Huntington's disease: a study of registered offences among patients, relatives, and controls

    OpenAIRE

    Jensen, P; Fenger, K; Bolwig, T; Sorensen, S. A.

    1998-01-01

    OBJECTIVES—Criminal behaviour has been described as a problem in Huntington's disease, but systematic studies including control groups have been missing. Based on information from Danish registries, rates and types of crime committed by patients with Huntington's disease, non-affected relatives, and controls were studied.
METHODS—99 males and 151 females with Huntington's disease were compared with 334 non-affected first degree relatives (134 men and 200 women) and to matche...

  10. Huntington disease and Huntington disease-like in a case series from Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castilhos, R M; Souza, A F D; Furtado, G V; Gheno, T C; Silva, A L; Vargas, F R; Lima, M-A F D; Barsottini, O; Pedroso, J L; Godeiro, C; Salarini, D; Pereira, E T; Lin, K; Toralles, M-B; Saute, J A M; Rieder, C R; Quintas, M; Sequeiros, J; Alonso, I; Saraiva-Pereira, M L; Jardim, L B

    2014-10-01

    The aim of this study was to identify the relative frequency of Huntington's disease (HD) and HD-like (HDL) disorders HDL1, HDL2, spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2), SCA17, dentatorubral-pallidoluysian degeneration (DRPLA), benign hereditary chorea, neuroferritinopathy and chorea-acanthocytosis (CHAC), in a series of Brazilian families. Patients were recruited in seven centers if they or their relatives presented at least chorea, besides other findings. Molecular studies of HTT, ATXN2, TBP, ATN1, JPH3, FTL, NKX2-1/TITF1 and VPS13A genes were performed. A total of 104 families were ascertained from 2001 to 2012: 71 families from South, 25 from Southeast and 8 from Northeast Brazil. There were 93 HD, 4 HDL2 and 1 SCA2 families. Eleven of 104 index cases did not have a family history: 10 with HD. Clinical characteristics were similar between HD and non-HD cases. In HD, the median expanded (CAG)n (range) was 44 (40-81) units; R(2) between expanded HTT and age-at-onset (AO) was 0.55 (p=0.0001, Pearson). HDL2 was found in Rio de Janeiro (2 of 9 families) and Rio Grande do Sul states (2 of 68 families). We detected HD in 89.4%, HDL2 in 3.8% and SCA2 in 1% of 104 Brazilian families. There were no cases of HDL1, SCA17, DRPLA, neuroferritinopathy, benign hereditary chorea or CHAC. Only six families (5.8%) remained without diagnosis.

  11. 22 Years of predictive testing for Huntington's disease: the experience of the UK Huntington's Prediction Consortium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baig, Sheharyar S; Strong, Mark; Rosser, Elisabeth; Taverner, Nicola V; Glew, Ruth; Miedzybrodzka, Zosia; Clarke, Angus; Craufurd, David; Quarrell, Oliver W

    2016-10-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition. At-risk individuals have accessed predictive testing via direct mutation testing since 1993. The UK Huntington's Prediction Consortium has collected anonymised data on UK predictive tests, annually, from 1993 to 2014: 9407 predictive tests were performed across 23 UK centres. Where gender was recorded, 4077 participants were male (44.3%) and 5122 were female (55.7%). The median age of participants was 37 years. The most common reason for predictive testing was to reduce uncertainty (70.5%). Of the 8441 predictive tests on individuals at 50% prior risk, 4629 (54.8%) were reported as mutation negative and 3790 (44.9%) were mutation positive, with 22 (0.3%) in the database being uninterpretable. Using a prevalence figure of 12.3 × 10(-5), the cumulative uptake of predictive testing in the 50% at-risk UK population from 1994 to 2014 was estimated at 17.4% (95% CI: 16.9-18.0%). We present the largest study conducted on predictive testing in HD. Our findings indicate that the vast majority of individuals at risk of HD (>80%) have not undergone predictive testing. Future therapies in HD will likely target presymptomatic individuals; therefore, identifying the at-risk population whose gene status is unknown is of significant public health value.

  12. A study on the trinucleotide repeat associated with Huntington`s disease in the Chinese

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bing-wen Soong; Jih-tsuu Wang [Neurological Institute, Taipei (Taiwan, Province of China)

    1994-09-01

    Analysis of the polymorphic (CAG)n repeat in the hungingtin gene in the chinese confirmed the presence of an expanded repeat on all Huntington`s disease chromosomes. Measurement of the specific CAG repeat sequence in 34 HD chromosomes from 15 unrelated families and 190 control chromosomes from the Chinese population showed a range from 9 to 29 repeats in normal subjects and 40 to 58 in affected subjects. The size distributions of normal and affected alleles did not overlap. A clear correlation bewteen early onset of symptoms and very high repeat number was seen, but the spread of the age-at-onset in the major repeat range producing characteristic HD it too wide to be of diagnostic value. There was also variability in the transmitted repeat size for both sexes in the HD size range. Maternal HD alleles showed a moderate instability with a preponderance of size decrease, while paternal HD alleles had a tendency to increase in repeat size on transmission, the degree of which appeared proportional to the initial size.

  13. Indoleamine 2,3 Dioxygenase as a Potential Therapeutic Target in Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazarei, Gelareh; Leavitt, Blair R

    2015-01-01

    Within the past decade, there has been increasing interest in the role of tryptophan (Trp) metabolites and the kynurenine pathway (KP) in diseases of the brain such as Huntington's disease (HD). Evidence is accumulating to suggest that this pathway is imbalanced in neurologic disease states. The KP diverges into two branches that can lead to production of either neuroprotective or neurotoxic metabolites. In one branch, kynurenine (Kyn) produced as a result of tryptophan (Trp) catabolism is further metabolized to neurotoxic metabolites such as 3-hydroxykunurenine (3-HK) and quinolinic acid (QA). In the other branch, Kyn is converted to the neuroprotective metabolite kynurenic acid (KA). The enzyme Indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO1) catalyzes the conversion of Trp into Kyn, the first and rate-limiting enzymatic step of the KP. This reaction takes place throughout the body in multiple cell types as a required step in the degradation of the essential amino acid Trp. Studies of IDO1 in brain have focused primarily on a potential role in depression, immune tolerance associated with brain tumours, and multiple sclerosis; however the role of this enzyme in neurodegenerative disease has garnered significant attention in recent years. This review will provide a summary of the current understanding of the role of IDO1 in Huntington's disease and will assess this enzyme as a potential therapeutic target for HD.

  14. Atypical Parkinsonism Revealing a Late Onset, Rigid and Akinetic Form of Huntington's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ciammola

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is a rare hereditary neurodegenerative disorder characterized in over 90 percent of cases by chorea as the presenting motor symptom. We report a 54-year-old male who presented with Parkinsonism as the initial symptom of the disease. Genetic analysis revealed expansion of 40 CAG repeats, and brain MRI showed both severe caudate nuclei and cortical atrophy. Single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT imaging of the dopamine transporter showed nigrostriatal pathway degeneration. Here, we also describe his 2 years of clinical followup after ensuing dopaminergic stimulation.

  15. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis for Huntington's disease with exclusion testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sermon, Karen; De Rijcke, Martine; Lissens, Willy; De Vos, Anick; Platteau, Peter; Bonduelle, Maryse; Devroey, Paul; Van Steirteghem, André; Liebaers, Inge

    2002-10-01

    Huntington's disease is an autosomal dominant, late-onset disorder, for which the gene and the causative mutation have been known since 1993. Some at-risk patients choose for presymptomatic testing and can make reproductive choices accordingly. Others however, prefer not to know their carrier status, but may still wish to prevent the birth of a carrier child. For these patients, exclusion testing after prenatal sampling has been an option for many years. A disadvantage of this test is that unaffected pregnancies may be terminated if the parent at risk (50%) has not inherited the grandparental Huntington gene, leading to serious moral and ethical objections. As an alternative, preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) on embryos obtained in vitro may be proposed, after which only embryos free of risk are replaced. Embryos can then be selected, either by the amplification of the CAG repeat in the embryos without communicating results to the patients (ie non-disclosure testing), which brings its own practical and moral problems, or exclusion testing. We describe here the first PGD cycles for exclusion testing for Huntington's disease in five couples. Three couples have had at least one PGD cycle so far. One pregnancy ensued and a healthy female baby was delivered.

  16. Polyglutamine Aggregation in Huntington Disease: Does Structure Determine Toxicity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffner, Guylaine; Djian, Philippe

    2015-12-01

    Huntington disease is a dominantly inherited disease of the central nervous system. The mutational expansion of polyglutamine beyond a critical length produces a toxic gain of function in huntingtin and results in neuronal death. In the course of the disease, expanded huntingtin is proteolyzed, becomes abnormally folded, and accumulates in oligomers, fibrils, and microscopic inclusions. The aggregated forms of the expanded protein are structurally diverse. Structural heterogeneity may explain why polyglutamine-containing aggregates could paradoxically be either toxic or neuroprotective. When defined, the toxic structures could then specifically be targeted by prophylactic or therapeutic drugs aimed at inhibiting polyglutamine aggregation.

  17. Prefrontal cortex white matter tracts in prodromal Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsui, Joy T; Vaidya, Jatin G; Wassermann, Demian; Kim, Regina Eunyoung; Magnotta, Vincent A; Johnson, Hans J; Paulsen, Jane S

    2015-10-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is most widely known for its selective degeneration of striatal neurons but there is also growing evidence for white matter (WM) deterioration. The primary objective of this research was to conduct a large-scale analysis using multisite diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) tractography data to quantify diffusivity properties along major prefrontal cortex WM tracts in prodromal HD. Fifteen international sites participating in the PREDICT-HD study collected imaging and neuropsychological data on gene-positive HD participants without a clinical diagnosis (i.e., prodromal) and gene-negative control participants. The anatomical prefrontal WM tracts of the corpus callosum (PFCC), anterior thalamic radiations (ATRs), inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi (IFO), and uncinate fasciculi (UNC) were identified using streamline tractography of DWI. Within each of these tracts, tensor scalars for fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, radial diffusivity, and axial diffusivity coefficients were calculated. We divided prodromal HD subjects into three CAG-age product (CAP) groups having Low, Medium, or High probabilities of onset indexed by genetic exposure. We observed significant differences in WM properties for each of the four anatomical tracts for the High CAP group in comparison to controls. Additionally, the Medium CAP group presented differences in the ATR and IFO in comparison to controls. Furthermore, WM alterations in the PFCC, ATR, and IFO showed robust associations with neuropsychological measures of executive functioning. These results suggest long-range tracts essential for cross-region information transfer show early vulnerability in HD and may explain cognitive problems often present in the prodromal stage. Hum Brain Mapp 36:3717-3732, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Huntington Disease: A Case Study of Early Onset Presenting as Depression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duesterhus, Pia; Schimmelmann, Benno Graf; Wittkugel, Oliver; Schulte-Markwort, Michael

    2004-01-01

    Huntington disease is a dominantly inherited, neurodegenerative disease characterized by choreiform movement disturbances and dementia, usually with adult onset. The rare juvenile-onset Huntington disease differs from the adult phenotype. A case presenting twice, at age 10 with all the signs of a major depression and age 14 with mutism and…

  19. The structural involvement of the cingulate cortex in premanifest and early Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hobbs, Nicola Z; Pedrick, Amy V; Say, Miranda J; Frost, Chris; Dar Santos, Rachelle; Coleman, Allison; Sturrock, Aaron; Craufurd, David; Stout, Julie C; Leavitt, Blair R; Barnes, Josephine; Tabrizi, Sarah J; Scahill, Rachael I

    2011-08-01

    The impact of Huntington's disease neuropathology on the structure of the cingulate is uncertain, with evidence of both cortical enlargement and atrophy in this structure in early clinical disease. We sought to determine differences in cingulate volume between premanifest Huntington's disease and early Huntington's disease groups compared with controls using detailed manual measurements. Thirty controls, 30 subjects with premanifest Huntington's disease, and 30 subjects with early Huntington's disease were selected from the Vancouver site of the TRACK-HD study. Subjects underwent 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging and motor, cognitive, and neuropsychiatric assessment. The cingulate was manually delineated and subdivided into rostral, caudal, and posterior segments. Group differences in volume and associations with performance on 4 tasks thought to utilize cingulate function were examined, with adjustment for appropriate covariates. Cingulate volumes were, on average, 1.7 mL smaller in early Huntington's disease (P=.001) and 0.9 mL smaller in premanifest Huntington's disease (P=.1) compared with controls. Smaller volumes in subsections of the cingulate were associated with impaired recognition of negative emotions (P=.04), heightened depression (P=.009), and worse visual working memory performance (P=.01). There was no evidence of associations between volume and ability on a performance-monitoring task. This study disputes previous findings of enlargement of the cingulate cortex in Huntington's disease and instead suggests that the cingulate undergoes structural degeneration during early Huntington's disease with directionally consistent, nonsignificant differences seen in premanifest Huntington's disease. Cingulate atrophy may contribute to deficits in mood, emotional processing, and visual working memory in Huntington's disease.

  20. Molecular Imaging Markers to Track Huntington's Disease Pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Heather; De Micco, Rosa; Niccolini, Flavia; Politis, Marios

    2017-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive, monogenic dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by repeat expansion mutation in the huntingtin gene. The accumulation of mutant huntingtin protein, forming intranuclear inclusions, subsequently leads to degeneration of medium spiny neurons in the striatum and cortical areas. Genetic testing can identify HD gene carriers before individuals develop overt cognitive, psychiatric, and chorea symptoms. Thus, HD gene carriers can be studied in premanifest stages to understand and track the evolution of HD pathology. While advances have been made, the precise pathophysiological mechanisms underlying HD are unclear. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET) have been employed to understand HD pathology in presymptomatic and symptomatic disease stages. PET imaging uses radioactive tracers to detect specific changes, at a molecular level, which could be used as markers of HD progression and to monitor response to therapeutic treatments for HD gene expansion carriers (HDGECs). This review focuses on available PET techniques, employed in cross-sectional and longitudinal human studies, as biomarkers for HD, and highlights future potential PET targets. PET studies have assessed changes in postsynaptic dopaminergic receptors, brain metabolism, microglial activation, and recently phosphodiesterase 10A (PDE10A) as markers to track HD progression. Alterations in PDE10A expression are the earliest biochemical change identified in HD gene carriers up to 43 years before predicted symptomatic onset. Thus, PDE10A expression could be a promising marker to track HD progression from early premanifest disease stages. Other PET targets which have been less well investigated as biomarkers include cannabinoid, adenosine, and GABA receptors. Future longitudinal studies are required to fully validate these PET biomarkers for use to track disease progression from far-onset premanifest to manifest HD stages. PET imaging

  1. The P42 peptide and Peptide-based therapies for Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marelli, Cecilia; Maschat, Florence

    2016-03-17

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative hereditary disease clinically characterised by the presence of involuntary movements, behavioural problems and cognitive decline. The disease-onset is usually between 30 and 50 years of age. HD is a rare disorder affecting approximately 1.3 in 10,000 people in the European Union. It is caused by an expanded CAG repeat in the first exon of the Huntingtin (HTT) gene, leading to an abnormal form of the Huntingtin protein (Htt) (polyQHtt), containing N-terminus, enlarged polyglutamine strands of variable length that stick together to form aggregates and nuclear inclusions in the damaged brain cells. Treatments currently used for Huntington's disease are symptomatic and aimed at temporally relieving the symptoms of the disease; although some promising therapies are on study, there is no drug capable of stopping disease progression either in the form of delaying onset or slowing disability progression. The utilization of peptides interacting with polyQ stretches or with Htt protein to prevent misfolding and aggregation of the expanded polyQ protein is a fascinating idea, because of low potential toxicity and ability to target very initial steps in the pathophysiological cascade of the disease, such as aggregation or cleavage process. Indeed, several therapeutic peptides have been developed and were found to significantly slow down the progression of symptoms in experimental models of Huntington's disease. This review is essentially focusing on the latest development concerning peptide strategy. In particular, we focused on a 23aa peptide P42, which is a part of the Htt protein. It is expected to work principally by preventing the abnormal Htt protein from sticking together, thereby preventing pathological consequences of aggregation and improving the symptoms of the disease. In the meantime, as P42 is part of the Htt protein, some therapeutic properties might be linked to the physiological actions of the

  2. Stereotaxic Surgical Targeting of the Nonhuman Primate Caudate and Putamen: Gene Therapy for Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McBride, Jodi L; Clark, Randall L

    2016-01-01

    Stereotaxic surgery is an invaluable tool to deliver a variety of gene therapy constructs to the nonhuman primate caudate and putamen in preclinical studies for the genetic, neurodegenerative disorder, Huntington's disease (HD). Here we describe in detail how to perform this technique beginning with a pre-surgical magnetic resonance imaging scan to determine surgical coordinates followed by the stereotaxic surgical injection technique. In addition, we include methodology of a full necropsy including brain and peripheral tissue removal and a standard immunohistochemical technique to visualize the injected gene therapy agent.

  3. An improved assay for the determination of Huntington`s disease allele size

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reeves, C.; Klinger, K.; Miller, G. [Intergrated Genetics, Framingham, MA (United States)

    1994-09-01

    The hallmark of Huntington`s disease (HD) is the expansion of a polymorphic (CAG)n repeat. Several methods have been published describing PCR amplification of this region. Most of these assays require a complex PCR reaction mixture to amplify this GC-rich region. A consistent problem with trinucleotide repeat PCR amplification is the presence of a number of {open_quotes}stutter bands{close_quotes} which may be caused by primer or amplicon slippage during amplification or insufficient polymerase processivity. Most assays for HD arbitrarily select a particular band for diagnostic purposes. Without a clear choice for band selection such an arbitrary selection may result in inconsistent intra- or inter-laboratory findings. We present an improved protocol for the amplification of the HD trinucleotide repeat region. This method simplifies the PCR reaction buffer and results in a set of easily identifiable bands from which to determine allele size. HD alleles were identified by selecting bands of clearly greater signal intensity. Stutter banding was much reduced thus permitting easy identification of the most relevant PCR product. A second set of primers internal to the CCG polymorphism was used in selected samples to confirm allele size. The mechanism of action of N,N,N trimethylglycine in the PCR reaction is not clear. It may be possible that the minimal isostabilizing effect of N,N,N trimethylglycine at 2.5 M is significant enough to affect primer specificity. The use of N,N,N trimethylglycine in the PCR reaction facilitated identification of HD alleles and may be appropriate for use in other assays of this type.

  4. Measurement of caudate nucleus area - a more accurate measurement for Huntington's disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wardlaw, J.M.; Abernethy, L.J. (Royal Infirmary, London (United Kingdom). Dept. of Radiology); Sellar, R.J. (Western General Hospital, Edinburgh (United Kingdom). Dept. of Neuroradiology)

    1991-08-01

    Caudate nucleus atrophy occurs in Huntington's disease and methods of measuring this have been described using axial CT, but these are indirect and lack sensitivity. We measured caudate nucleus area (blind to the subjects' clinical state) in 30 subjects with or at risk of Huntington's disease, and in 100 normal age matched controls. Fifteen subjects with established symptomatic Huntington's disease, 3 with early symptoms, and 3 presymptomatic subjects (2 showing a high probability for the Huntington's disease gene on genetic testing, and one who has since developed symptoms) were correctly identified. Three normal (gene negative) family members were also correctly identified. Outcome is awaited in 6. CT caudate area measurement is simple and reproducible and we have found it to be a useful confirmatory test for Huntington's disease. (orig.).

  5. Pluripotent Stem Cells Models for Huntington's Disease: Prospects and Challenges

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Richard L. Carter; Anthony W.S. Chan

    2012-01-01

    Pluripotent cellular models have shown great promise in the study of a number of neurological disorders.Several advantages of using a stem cell model include the potential for cells to derive disease relevant neuronal cell types,providing a system for researchers to monitor disease progression during neurogenesis,along with serving as a platform for drug discovery.A number of stem cell derived models have been employed to establish in vitro research models of Huntington's disease that can be used to investigate cellular pathology and screen for drug and cell-based therapies.Although some progress has been made,there are a number of challenges and limitations that must be overcome before the true potential of this research strategy is achieved,In this article we review current stem cell models that have been reported,as well as discuss the issues that impair these studies.We also highlight the prospective application of Huntington's disease stem cell models in the development of novel therapeutic strategies and advancement of personalized medicine.

  6. Comprehensive care in Huntington's disease: a physician's perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nance, Martha A

    2007-04-30

    Huntington's disease is a slowly progressive neurodegenerative disorder with wide-ranging effects on affected individuals and their families. Until a cure is found for the disease, patients and their families will continue to need care over years, even generations. The ideal care for HD is provided by a team, led by a physician, with input from rehabilitation therapists, nurses, psychologists, genetic counselors, social workers, and other health care providers. The goals of care are to maximize the quality of life at all points through the course of the disease, in part by anticipating problems that are likely to arise at the next stage of the illness. We describe below an approach to comprehensive care, and introduce the concept of the "Huntington disease molecule", in which the patient, in the center, is surrounded by a shell of immediate and extended family members, with bonds extended in multiple directions to provider who can give appropriate medical care, education, crisis management, research opportunities, address family issues, maximize function, and prepare for the future.

  7. Huntington's disease as caused by 34 CAG repeats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrich, Jürgen; Arning, Larissa; Wieczorek, Stefan; Kraus, Peter H; Gold, Ralf; Saft, Carsten

    2008-04-30

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by an abnormal expansion of a polymorphic stretch of CAG repeats in the coding 5' part of the HD gene on chromosome 4p. Expansions of CAG blocks beyond 35 repeats are associated with the clinical presentation of HD. There is an intermediate range of rare alleles between 27 and 35 CAG repeats with a higher risk for further expansion in subsequent generations. Here, we report a 75-year-old male with clinical features of HD and 34 CAG repeat units.

  8. Clinical and counselling implications of preimplantation genetic diagnosis for Huntington's disease in the UK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lashwood, A; Flinter, F

    2001-01-01

    Huntington's disease is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder that usually occurs in adult life. Individuals at risk can have a gene test before the onset of symptoms, and prenatal diagnosis is available. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) for Huntington's disease is now available for couples in whom one partner has the gene for Huntington's disease. A licence to practise PGD is required from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, and there are several complex issues relating to PGD for Huntington's disease that require consideration. The partner of the Huntington's disease gene carrier should have a presymptomatic test to ensure accuracy in a PGD cycle. There should be a delay between blood sampling and testing for Huntington's disease to allow time for reflection and withdrawal from testing. All PGD treatment has an associated risk of misdiagnosis. If confirmatory prenatal testing is not undertaken after a successful PGD cycle, no confirmation of diagnosis will be obtained at birth. Guidelines indicate that individuals who are at risk cannot be tested before 18 years. There is concern over the ability of a child or adolescent to make an informed choice about testing before this age. Confirmatory testing at birth after PGD would be in direct contravention of these guidelines. In the UK, the law requires consideration of the welfare of children born after assisted conception treatment. Presenting symptoms of Huntington's disease may affect the parenting abilities of an affected individual. There is a need for an assessment of a patient's current Huntington's disease status and their planned provision of care of children if Huntington's disease affects parenting. It has been necessary to create a detailed working protocol for the management of PGD for Huntington's disease to address these issues.

  9. Ethical considerations of genetic presymptomatic testing for Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coustasse, Alberto; Pekar, Alicia; Sikula, Andrew; Lurie, Sue

    2009-01-01

    The aim of this literature review was to determine if there is adequate ethical justification for presymptomatic genetic testing on potential Huntington's disease patients. Huntington's disease is a neurological genetic disorder characterized by midlife onset which consists of cognitive, physical, and emotional deterioration. Although genetic testing has traditionally been guided by the principle of autonomy, severe psychological consequences such as depression, anxiety, survival guilt, and suicide have complicated the ethical issue of providing a presymptomatic yet definitive diagnosis for an incurable disease. An analysis of available articles yielded inconclusive findings, namely due to insufficient evidence, self-selection bias of test participants, or lack of a longitudinal design. Additional results indicated psychological distress is not solely associated with test result, but rather with individual characteristics including, but not limited to, psychological history, test motivation, level of preparation, social support, and age. In the interest of upholding the principles of autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice, it is recommended that medical professionals follow strict protocol, provide extensive counseling, and employ vigilance when assessing at-risk individuals for HD presymptomatic test eligibility to ensure psychological well-being.

  10. Functional impairment of precerebral arteries in Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobal, Jan; Cankar, Ksenija; Pretnar, Janja; Zaletel, Marjan; Kobal, Lucijan; Teran, Natasa; Melik, Ziva

    2017-01-15

    Cardiovascular pathology of Huntington disease (HD) appears to be complex; while microvascular dysfunction seems to appear early, deaths from cardiomyopathy and stroke might occur in the late phase of HD. Our study evaluated global risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD), structure and function of precerebral arteries in 41 HD subjects and 41 matched controls. HD subjects were divided into groups by the United Huntington disease rating scale (presymptomatic-PHD, early-EHD, midstage-MHD and late-LHD). CHD risk factors assessment and Doppler examination of precerebral arteries were performed, including measurements of the carotid artery intima-media thickness (IMT), and parameters indicating local carotid artery distensibility (stiffness index β, pulse wave velocity, pressure strain elasticity module and carotid artery compliance). In the HD and controls we identified a comparable number of non-obstructive plaques (50% lumen narrowing) were found. There was significantly increased IMT in MHD. In PHD and EHD the parameters of arterial stiffness were significantly higher and the carotid artery compliance was significantly lower. Our results reveal functional vascular pathology in PHD, EHD, and MHD. Precerebral arteries dysfunction in HD therefore appears to be mostly functional and in agreement with recently described autonomic nervous system changes in HD. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. It wasn't Witchcraft--It was Huntington Disease!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penaranda, Eribeth; Garcia, Angel; Montgomery, Lisa

    2011-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is an autosomal-dominant, incurable, progressive disorder that manifests with chorea and behavioral and cognitive impairment. The disease usually occurs during the fourth or fifth decade of life; however, it may present at any age. Clinical suspicion is confirmed by genetic testing. Death occurs, on average, 15 to 20 years after the onset of symptoms. Here we report about a Hispanic woman and her family who were affected by the disease; this case illustrates the role of cultural values and beliefs in the decision-making process, as well as the importance of the physician's cultural competency in fostering a trusting relationship that may lessen the burden of catastrophic diseases on individuals, families, and society at-large.

  12. Modern Genome Editing Technologies in Huntington's Disease Research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malankhanova, Tuyana B; Malakhova, Anastasia A; Medvedev, Sergey P; Zakian, Suren M

    2017-01-01

    The development of new revolutionary technologies for directed gene editing has made it possible to thoroughly model and study NgAgo human diseases at the cellular and molecular levels. Gene editing tools like ZFN, TALEN, CRISPR-based systems, NgAgo and SGN can introduce different modifications. In gene sequences and regulate gene expression in different types of cells including induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). These tools can be successfully used for Huntington's disease (HD) modeling, for example, to generate isogenic cell lines bearing different numbers of CAG repeats or to correct the mutation causing the disease. This review presents common genome editing technologies and summarizes the progress made in using them in HD and other hereditary diseases. Furthermore, we will discuss prospects and limitations of genome editing in understanding HD pathology.

  13. Presymptomatic testing for Huntington's disease: a world wide survey. The World Federation of Neurology Research Group on Huntington's Disease.

    OpenAIRE

    1993-01-01

    World wide data on presymptomatic testing for Huntington's disease using closely linked DNA markers show that 1479 persons at risk received completed test results up to the end of 1991. Testing has been carried out in 19 countries, with at least 88 centres involved, and numbers have levelled off after a peak in 1990. Only 5% of those at risk have been tested in six countries with the longest established programmes. Continued monitoring of international data will be of value in assessing the s...

  14. The Role of Reactive Oxygen Species in the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, and Huntington's Disease: A Mini Review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manoharan, Shanmugam; Guillemin, Gilles J; Abiramasundari, Rajagopal Selladurai; Essa, Musthafa Mohamed; Akbar, Mohammed; Akbar, Mohammed D

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases affect not only the life quality of aging populations, but also their life spans. All forms of neurodegenerative diseases have a massive impact on the elderly. The major threat of these brain diseases includes progressive loss of memory, Alzheimer's disease (AD), impairments in the movement, Parkinson's disease (PD), and the inability to walk, talk, and think, Huntington's disease (HD). Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction are highlighted as a central feature of brain degenerative diseases. Oxidative stress, a condition that occurs due to imbalance in oxidant and antioxidant status, has been known to play a vital role in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases including AD, PD, and HD. A large number of studies have utilized oxidative stress biomarkers to investigate the severity of these neurodegenerative diseases and medications are available, but these only treat the symptoms. In traditional medicine, a large number of medicinal plants have been used to treat the symptoms of these neurodegenerative diseases. Extensive studies scientifically validated the beneficial effect of natural products against neurodegenerative diseases using suitable animal models. This short review focuses the role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of AD, PD, and HD and the protective efficacy of natural products against these diseases.

  15. The Role of Reactive Oxygen Species in the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, and Huntington's Disease: A Mini Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abiramasundari, Rajagopal Selladurai; Essa, Musthafa Mohamed; Akbar, Mohammed D.

    2016-01-01

    Neurodegenerative diseases affect not only the life quality of aging populations, but also their life spans. All forms of neurodegenerative diseases have a massive impact on the elderly. The major threat of these brain diseases includes progressive loss of memory, Alzheimer's disease (AD), impairments in the movement, Parkinson's disease (PD), and the inability to walk, talk, and think, Huntington's disease (HD). Oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction are highlighted as a central feature of brain degenerative diseases. Oxidative stress, a condition that occurs due to imbalance in oxidant and antioxidant status, has been known to play a vital role in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases including AD, PD, and HD. A large number of studies have utilized oxidative stress biomarkers to investigate the severity of these neurodegenerative diseases and medications are available, but these only treat the symptoms. In traditional medicine, a large number of medicinal plants have been used to treat the symptoms of these neurodegenerative diseases. Extensive studies scientifically validated the beneficial effect of natural products against neurodegenerative diseases using suitable animal models. This short review focuses the role of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of AD, PD, and HD and the protective efficacy of natural products against these diseases. PMID:28116038

  16. Nucleic Acid-Based Therapy Approaches for Huntington's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tatyana Vagner

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is caused by a dominant mutation that results in an unstable expansion of a CAG repeat in the huntingtin gene leading to a toxic gain of function in huntingtin protein which causes massive neurodegeneration mainly in the striatum and clinical symptoms associated with the disease. Since the mutation has multiple effects in the cell and the precise mechanism of the disease remains to be elucidated, gene therapy approaches have been developed that intervene in different aspects of the condition. These approaches include increasing expression of growth factors, decreasing levels of mutant huntingtin, and restoring cell metabolism and transcriptional balance. The aim of this paper is to outline the nucleic acid-based therapeutic strategies that have been tested to date.

  17. Patterns of Co-occurring Gray Matter Concentration Loss Across the Huntington Disease Prodrome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer Ashley Ciarochi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Huntington disease is caused by an abnormally expanded CAG trinucleotide repeat in the HTT gene. Age and CAG-expansion number are related to age at diagnosis, and can be used to index disease progression. However, observed onset-age variability suggests that other factors also modulate progression. Indexing prodromal (pre-diagnosis progression may highlight therapeutic targets by isolating the earliest-affected factors.We present the largest prodromal Huntington disease application of the univariate method Voxel-based Morphometry, and the first application of the multivariate method Source-based Morphometry, to respectively compare gray matter concentration and capture co-occurring gray matter concentration patterns in control and prodromal participants. Using structural MRI data from 1050 (831 prodromal, 219 control participants, we characterize control-prodromal, whole-brain gray matter concentration differences at various prodromal stages. Our results provide evidence for: (1 Regional co-occurrence and differential patterns of decline across the prodrome, with parietal and occipital differences commonly co-occurring, and frontal and temporal differences being relatively independent from one another, (2 Fronto-striatal circuits being among the earliest and most consistently affected in the prodrome (3 Delayed degradation in some movement-related regions, with increasing subcortical and occipital differences with later progression, (4 An overall superior-to-inferior gradient of gray matter concentration reduction in frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes, (5 The appropriateness of Source-based Morphometry for studying the prodromal Huntington disease population, and its enhanced sensitivity to early prodromal and regionally-concurrent differences.

  18. Editing for an AMPA receptor subunit RNA in prefrontal cortex and striatum in Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease and schizophrenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akbarian, S.; Smith, M. A.; Jones, E. G.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1995-01-01

    Animal studies and cell culture experiments demonstrated that posttranscriptional editing of the transcript of the GluR-2 gene, resulting in substitution of an arginine for glutamine in the second transmembrane region (TM II) of the expressed protein, is associated with a reduction in Ca2+ permeability of the receptor channel. Thus, disturbances in GluR-2 RNA editing with alteration of intracellular Ca2+ homeostasis could lead to neuronal dysfunction and even neuronal degeneration. The present study determined the proportions of edited and unedited GluR-2 RNA in the prefrontal cortex of brains from patients with Alzheimer's disease, in the striatum of brains from patients with Huntington's disease, and in the same areas of brains from age-matched schizophrenics and controls, by using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, restriction endonuclease digestion, gel electrophoresis and scintillation radiometry. In the prefrontal cortex of controls, 99.9% were edited; in the prefrontal cortex both of schizophrenics and of Alzheimer's patients approximately 1.0% of all GluR-2 RNA molecules were unedited and 99% were edited. In the striatum of controls and of schizophrenics, approximately 0.5% of GluR-2 RNA molecules were unedited and 99.5% were edited; in the striatum of Huntington's patients nearly 5.0% of GluR-2 RNA was unedited. In the prefrontal white matter of controls, approximately 7.0% of GluR-2 RNA was unedited. In the normal human prefrontal cortex and striatum, the large majority of GluR-2 RNA molecules contains a CGG codon for arginine in the TMII coding region; this implies that the corresponding AMPA receptors have a low Ca2+ permeability, as previously demonstrated for the rat brain. The process of GluR-2 RNA editing is compromised in a region-specific manner in schizophrenia, in Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's Chorea although in each of these disorders there is still a large excess of edited GluR-2 RNA molecules. Disturbances of GluR-2 RNA

  19. Mutant Huntingtin Does Not Affect the Intrinsic Phenotype of Human Huntington's Disease T Lymphocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, James R C; Träger, Ulrike; Andre, Ralph; Tabrizi, Sarah J

    2015-01-01

    Huntington's disease is a fatal neurodegenerative condition caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the huntingtin gene. The peripheral innate immune system is dysregulated in Huntington's disease and may contribute to its pathogenesis. However, it is not clear whether or to what extent the adaptive immune system is also involved. Here, we carry out the first comprehensive investigation of human ex vivo T lymphocytes in Huntington's disease, focusing on the frequency of a range of T lymphocyte subsets, as well as analysis of proliferation, cytokine production and gene transcription. In contrast to the innate immune system, the intrinsic phenotype of T lymphocytes does not appear to be affected by the presence of mutant huntingtin, with Huntington's disease T lymphocytes exhibiting no significant functional differences compared to control cells. The transcriptional profile of T lymphocytes also does not appear to be significantly affected, suggesting that peripheral immune dysfunction in Huntington's disease is likely to be mediated primarily by the innate rather than the adaptive immune system. This study increases our understanding of the effects of Huntington's disease on peripheral tissues, while further demonstrating the differential effects of the mutant protein on different but related cell types. Finally, this study suggests that the potential use of novel therapeutics aimed at modulating the Huntington's disease innate immune system should not be extended to include the adaptive immune system.

  20. Mutant Huntingtin Does Not Affect the Intrinsic Phenotype of Human Huntington's Disease T Lymphocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James R C Miller

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease is a fatal neurodegenerative condition caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the huntingtin gene. The peripheral innate immune system is dysregulated in Huntington's disease and may contribute to its pathogenesis. However, it is not clear whether or to what extent the adaptive immune system is also involved. Here, we carry out the first comprehensive investigation of human ex vivo T lymphocytes in Huntington's disease, focusing on the frequency of a range of T lymphocyte subsets, as well as analysis of proliferation, cytokine production and gene transcription. In contrast to the innate immune system, the intrinsic phenotype of T lymphocytes does not appear to be affected by the presence of mutant huntingtin, with Huntington's disease T lymphocytes exhibiting no significant functional differences compared to control cells. The transcriptional profile of T lymphocytes also does not appear to be significantly affected, suggesting that peripheral immune dysfunction in Huntington's disease is likely to be mediated primarily by the innate rather than the adaptive immune system. This study increases our understanding of the effects of Huntington's disease on peripheral tissues, while further demonstrating the differential effects of the mutant protein on different but related cell types. Finally, this study suggests that the potential use of novel therapeutics aimed at modulating the Huntington's disease innate immune system should not be extended to include the adaptive immune system.

  1. Deep white matter in Huntington's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Owen Phillips

    Full Text Available White matter (WM abnormalities have already been shown in presymptomatic (Pre-HD and symptomatic HD subjects using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI. In the present study, we examined the microstructure of the long-range large deep WM tracts by applying two different MRI approaches: Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI -based tractography, and T2*weighted (iron sensitive imaging. We collected Pre-HD subjects (n = 25, HD patients (n = 25 and healthy control subjects (n = 50. Results revealed increased axial (AD and radial diffusivity (RD and iron levels in Pre-HD subjects compared to controls. Fractional anisotropy decreased between the Pre-HD and HD phase and AD/RD increased and although impairment was pervasive in HD, degeneration occurred in a pattern in Pre-HD. Furthermore, iron levels dropped for HD patients. As increased iron levels are associated with remyelination, the data suggests that Pre-HD subjects attempt to repair damaged deep WM years before symptoms occur but this process fails with disease progression.

  2. Presymptomatic diagnosis in Huntington's disease: the Mexican experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alonso, Maria Elisa; Ochoa, Adriana; Sosa, Ana Luisa; Rodríguez, Yaneth; Chávez, Mireya; Boll, Catherine; Yescas, Petra; Macías, Rosario; Rasmussen, Astrid

    2009-12-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant progressive, disabling neurodegenerative disorder, for which there is no effective treatment. Predictive testing (PT) for this illness began in 1986 and by 1993 it became more precise after cloning of the gene and the discovery of a CAG repeat expansion as the underlying cause. The objective of this paper is to illustrate the implementation and results of a PT program in a group of at-risk Mexican individuals with 12 years of follow-up. Our PT program conforms to the guidelines proposed by the International Huntington Association and the HD Working group of the World Federation of Neurology. Seventy-five individuals requested the testing, four of them did not fulfill the inclusion criteria, and five abandoned the program voluntarily before receiving the test results. Therefore, 66 results were delivered to 41 noncarriers and 25 mutation carriers. We did not have any catastrophic event, but 4 individuals with normal results and 11 mutation carriers were depressed. Even if this is a small sample, it is the first report of PT in a Latin-American population in which we have been faced with the same problems referred to in larger series.

  3. Clinical and genetic data of Huntington disease in Moroccan patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouhouche, Ahmed; Regragui, Wafaa; Lamghari, Hind; Khaldi, Khadija; Birouk, Nazha; Lytim, Safaa; Bellamine, Soufiane; Kriouile, Yamna; Bouslam, Naima; Haddou, El Hachmia Ait Ben; Faris, Mustapha Alaoui; Benomar, Ali; Yahyaoui, Mohamed

    2015-12-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) occurs worldwide with prevalence varying from 0.1 to 10/100,000 depending of the ethnic origin. Since no data is available in the Maghreb population, the aim of this study is to describe clinical and genetic characteristics of Huntington patients of Moroccan origin. Clinical and genetics data of 21 consecutive patients recruited from 2009 to 2014 from the outpatient clinic of six medical centers were analyzed. Statistical analysis was performed using descriptive statistics. Twenty one patients from 17 families were diagnosed positive for the IT15 gene CAG expansion. Clinical symptoms were predominantly motor (19/21). Twelve patients had psychiatric and behavioral disorders, and 11 patients had cognitive disorders essentially of memory impairment. Analysis of genetic results showed that 5 patients had reduced penetrant (RP) alleles and 16 had fully penetrant (FP) alleles. The mean CAG repeat length in patients with RP alleles was 38.4 ± 0.54, and 45.37 ± 8.30 in FP alleles. The age of onset and the size of the CAG repeat length showed significant inverse correlation (p <0.001, r = -0.754). Clinical and genetic data of Moroccan patients are similar to those of Caucasian populations previously reported in the literature.

  4. Rapid eye movement sleep disturbances in Huntington disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arnulf, I.; Nielsen, J.; Lohmann, E.

    2008-01-01

    with very mild HD and worsened with disease severity. In contrast to narcoleptic patients, HD patients had no cataplexy, hypnagogic hallucinations, or sleep paralysis. Four HD patients had abnormally low (sleep latencies, but none had multiple sleep-onset REM periods. Conclusions......Background: Sleep disorders including insomnia, movements during sleep, and daytime sleepiness are common but poorly studied in Huntington disease (HD). Objective: To evaluate the HD sleep-wake phenotype (including abnormal motor activity during sleep) in patients with various HD stages...... interview, nighttime video and sleep monitoring, and daytime multiple sleep latency tests. Their results were compared with those of patients with narcolepsy and control patients. Results: The HD patients had frequent insomnia, earlier sleep onset, lower sleep efficiency, increased stage I sleep, delayed...

  5. Genetic counseling and testing for Huntington's disease: A historical review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nance, Martha A

    2017-01-01

    This manuscript describes the ways in which genetic counseling has evolved since John Pearson and Sheldon Reed first promoted "a genetic education" in the 1950s as a voluntary, non-directive clinical tool for permitting individual decision making. It reviews how the emergence of Huntington's disease (HD) registries and patient support organizations, genetic testing, and the discovery of a disease-causing CAG repeat expansion changed the contours of genetic counseling for families with HD. It also reviews the guidelines, outcomes, ethical and laboratory challenges, and uptake of predictive, prenatal, and preimplantation testing, and it casts a vision for how clinicians can better make use of genetic counseling to reach a broader pool of families that may be affected by HD and to ensure that genetic counseling is associated with the best levels of care. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Striatal Vulnerability in Huntington's Disease: Neuroprotection Versus Neurotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morigaki, Ryoma; Goto, Satoshi

    2017-06-07

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease caused by the expansion of a CAG trinucleotide repeat encoding an abnormally long polyglutamine tract (PolyQ) in the huntingtin (Htt) protein. In HD, striking neuropathological changes occur in the striatum, including loss of medium spiny neurons and parvalbumin-expressing interneurons accompanied by neurodegeneration of the striosome and matrix compartments, leading to progressive impairment of reasoning, walking and speaking abilities. The precise cause of striatal pathology in HD is still unknown; however, accumulating clinical and experimental evidence suggests multiple plausible pathophysiological mechanisms underlying striatal neurodegeneration in HD. Here, we review and discuss the characteristic neurodegenerative patterns observed in the striatum of HD patients and consider the role of various huntingtin-related and striatum-enriched proteins in neurotoxicity and neuroprotection.

  7. Autophagy in Huntington disease and huntingtin in autophagy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Dale D O; Ladha, Safia; Ehrnhoefer, Dagmar E; Hayden, Michael R

    2015-01-01

    Autophagy is an important biological process that is essential for the removal of damaged organelles and toxic or aggregated proteins by delivering them to the lysosome for degradation. Consequently, autophagy has become a primary target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases that involve aggregating proteins. In Huntington disease (HD), an expansion of the polyglutamine (polyQ) tract in the N-terminus of the huntingtin (HTT) protein leads to protein aggregation. However, HD is unique among the neurodegenerative proteinopathies in that autophagy is not only dysfunctional but wild type (wt) HTT also appears to play several roles in regulating the dynamics of autophagy. Herein, we attempt to integrate the recently described novel roles of wtHTT and altered autophagy in HD. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Polymorphisms in the CAG repeat--a source of error in Huntington disease DNA testing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, S; Fimmel, A; Fung, D; Trent, R J

    2000-12-01

    Five of 400 patients (1.3%), referred for Huntington disease DNA testing, demonstrated a single allele on CAG alone, but two alleles when the CAG + CCG repeats were measured. The PCR assay failed to detect one allele in the CAG alone assay because of single-base silent polymorphisms in the penultimate or the last CAG repeat. The region around and within the CAG repeat sequence in the Huntington disease gene is a hot-spot for DNA polymorphisms, which can occur in up to 1% of subjects tested for Huntington disease. These polymorphisms may interfere with amplification by PCR, and so have the potential to produce a diagnostic error.

  9. Monomeric, Oligomeric and Polymeric Proteins in Huntington Disease and Other Diseases of Polyglutamine Expansion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guylaine Hoffner

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Huntington disease and other diseases of polyglutamine expansion are each caused by a different protein bearing an excessively long polyglutamine sequence and are associated with neuronal death. Although these diseases affect largely different brain regions, they all share a number of characteristics, and, therefore, are likely to possess a common mechanism. In all of the diseases, the causative protein is proteolyzed, becomes abnormally folded and accumulates in oligomers and larger aggregates. The aggregated and possibly the monomeric expanded polyglutamine are likely to play a critical role in the pathogenesis and there is increasing evidence that the secondary structure of the protein influences its toxicity. We describe here, with special attention to huntingtin, the mechanisms of polyglutamine aggregation and the modulation of aggregation by the sequences flanking the polyglutamine. We give a comprehensive picture of the characteristics of monomeric and aggregated polyglutamine, including morphology, composition, seeding ability, secondary structure, and toxicity. The structural heterogeneity of aggregated polyglutamine may explain why polyglutamine-containing aggregates could paradoxically be either toxic or neuroprotective.

  10. Current status of PET imaging in Huntington's disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pagano, Gennaro; Niccolini, Flavia; Politis, Marios [King' s College London, Neurodegeneration Imaging Group, Department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience, Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), Camberwell, London (United Kingdom)

    2016-06-15

    To review the developments of recent decades and the current status of PET molecular imaging in Huntington's disease (HD). A systematic review of PET studies in HD was performed. The MEDLINE, Web of Science, Cochrane and Scopus databases were searched for articles in all languages published up to 19 August 2015 using the major medical subject heading ''Huntington Disease'' combined with text and key words ''Huntington Disease'', ''Neuroimaging'' and ''PET''. Only peer-reviewed, primary research studies in HD patients and premanifest HD carriers, and studies in which clinical features were described in association with PET neuroimaging results, were included in this review. Reviews, case reports and nonhuman studies were excluded. A total of 54 PET studies were identified and analysed in this review. Brain metabolism ([{sup 18}F]FDG and [{sup 15}O]H{sub 2}O), presynaptic ([{sup 18}F]fluorodopa, [{sup 11}C]β-CIT and [{sup 11}C]DTBZ) and postsynaptic ([{sup 11}C]SCH22390, [{sup 11}C]FLB457 and [{sup 11}C]raclopride) dopaminergic function, phosphodiesterases ([{sup 18}F]JNJ42259152, [{sup 18}F]MNI-659 and [{sup 11}C]IMA107), and adenosine ([{sup 18}F]CPFPX), cannabinoid ([{sup 18}F]MK-9470), opioid ([{sup 11}C]diprenorphine) and GABA ([{sup 11}C]flumazenil) receptors were evaluated as potential biomarkers for monitoring disease progression and for assessing the development and efficacy of novel disease-modifying drugs in premanifest HD carriers and HD patients. PET studies evaluating brain restoration and neuroprotection were also identified and described in detail. Brain metabolism, postsynaptic dopaminergic function and phosphodiesterase 10A levels were proven to be powerful in assessing disease progression. However, no single technique may be currently considered an optimal biomarker and an integrative multimodal imaging approach combining different techniques should be developed

  11. Sulforaphane enhances proteasomal and autophagic activities in mice and is a potential therapeutic reagent for Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yanying; Hettinger, Casey L; Zhang, Dong; Rezvani, Khosrow; Wang, Xuejun; Wang, Hongmin

    2014-05-01

    The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) is impaired in Huntington's disease, a devastating neurodegenerative disorder. Sulforaphane, a naturally occurring compound, has been shown to stimulate UPS activity in cell cultures. To test whether sulforaphane enhances UPS function in vivo, we treated UPS function reporter mice ubiquitously expressing the green fluorescence protein (GFP) fused to a constitutive degradation signal that promotes its rapid degradation in the conditions of a healthy UPS. The modified GFP is termed GFP UPS reporter (GFPu). We found that both GFPu and ubiquitinated protein levels were significantly reduced and the three peptidase activities of the proteasome were increased in the brain and peripheral tissues of the mice. Interestingly, sulforaphane treatment also enhanced autophagy activity in the brain and the liver. To further examine whether sulforaphane promotes mutant huntingtin (mHtt) degradation, we treated Huntington's disease cells with sulforaphane and found that sulforaphane not only enhanced mHtt degradation but also reduced mHtt cytotoxicity. Sulforaphane-mediated mHtt degradation was mainly through the UPS pathway as the presence of a proteasome inhibitor abolished this effect. Taken together, these data indicate that sulforaphane activates protein degradation machineries in both the brain and peripheral tissues and may be a therapeutic reagent for Huntington's disease and other intractable disorders. Accumulation of mutant huntingtin (mHtt) protein causes Huntington's disease (HD). Sulforaphane (SFN), a naturally occurring compound, increased proteasome and autophagy activities in vivo and enhanced mHtt turnover and cell survival in HD cell models. SFN-mediated mHtt degradation is mainly through the proteasome pathway. These data suggest that SFN can be a therapeutic reagent for treating HD and other intractable disorders. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  12. Evaluation of tetrathiomolybdate in the R6/2 model of Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tallaksen-Greene, Sara J; Janiszewska, Anita; Benton, Kasha; Hou, Guoqing; Dick, Robert; Brewer, George J; Albin, Roger L

    2009-03-06

    Huntington disease is an uncommon autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by expanded polyglutamine repeats in the huntingtin protein. The proximate mechanisms responsible for neurodegeneration are unknown. Copper ions may play a role in Huntington disease by promoting oligomerization of expanded polyglutamine repeat protein fragments. Ammonium tetrathiomolybdate is a copper complexing agent with demonstrated tolerability and efficacy in another neurodegenerative disorder, Wilson disease. We evaluated ammonium tetrathiomolybdate in the R6/2 transgenic mouse model of Huntington disease. Ammonium tetrathiomolybdate treatment delayed the onset of motor dysfunction in R6/2 mice. There was a trend towards reduced striatal degeneration, suggesting a neuroprotective effect of ammonium tetrathiomolybdate in this model. Given its known tolerability in humans with neurodegeneration, ammonium tetrathiomolybdate could be considered as a candidate for clinical trials in Huntington disease.

  13. Huntington's disease impairs recognition of angry and instrumental body language.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Gelder, Beatrice; Van den Stock, Jan; Balaguer, Ruth de Diego; Bachoud-Lévi, Anne-Catherine

    2008-01-15

    Patients with Huntington's disease (HD) exhibit motor impairments as well as cognitive and emotional deficits. So far impairments in the ability to recognize emotional stimuli have mostly been investigated by using facial expressions and emotional voices. Other important emotional signals are provided by the whole body. To investigate the impact of motor deficits on body recognition and the relation between motor disorders and emotion perception deficits, we tested recognition of emotional body language (instrumental, angry, fearful and sad) in 19 HD patients and their matched controls with a nonverbal whole body expression matching task. Results indicate that HD patients are impaired in recognizing both instrumental and angry whole body postures. Furthermore, the body language perception deficits are correlated with measures of motor deficit. Taken together the results suggest a close relationship between emotion recognition (specifically anger) and motor abilities.

  14. High resolution impedance manometric findings in dysphagia of Huntington's disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tae Hee Lee; Joon Seong Lee; Wan Jung Kim

    2012-01-01

    Conventional manometry presents significant challenges,espedally in assessment of pharyngeal swallowing,because of the asymmetry and deglutitive movements of oropharyngeal structures.It only provides information about intraluminal pressure and thus it is difficult to study functional details of esophageal motility disorders.New technology of solid high resolution impedance manometry (HRIM),with 32 pressure sensors and 6 impedance sensors,is likely to provide better assessment of pharyngeal swallowing as well as more information about esophageal motility disorders.However,the clinical usefulness of application of HRIM in patients with oropharyngeal dysphagia or esophageal dysphagia is not known.We experienced a case of Huntington's disease presenting with both oropharyngeal and esophageal dysphagia,in which HRIM revealed the mechanism of oropharyngeal dysphagia and provided comprehensive information about esophageal dysphagia.

  15. Westphal variant Huntington disease and refractory catatonia: a case report.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merida-Puga, Jorge; Ramirez-Bermudez, Jesus; Aguilar-Venegas, Luis Carlos; Fricchione, Gregory L; Espinola-Nadurille, Mariana

    2011-12-01

    A young woman with Westphal variant (juvenile) Huntington disease (HD) also developed catatonia. Catatonia is an underdiagnosed psychomotor syndrome often associated with neurological and psychiatric disorders, but it has rarely been documented in patients with HD. Catatonia usually responds to standard treatment with benzodiazepines and electroconvulsive therapy; however, this patient's catatonic syndrome did not improve until we augmented the standard treatment with amantadine and levodopa. The underlying pathophysiology and a neurochemical hypothesis of HD and catatonia can explain their comorbidity and the refractoriness of catatonia to treatment. Both conditions are linked to dysregulation of neurotransmitters in the striatocortical and corticocortical pathways. This understanding may serve as a guide for the use of nonstandard treatments. Our evidence also suggests that electroconvulsive therapy can be useful and safe in the treatment of HD.

  16. Hope in Huntington's disease A survey in counseling patients with Huntington's disease,as well as the caregivers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jerzy T Marcinkowski; Daniel Zielonka

    2009-01-01

    BACKGROUND: It is difficult to attract interest in non-compulsory, preventive, medical care, and persons diagnosed with certain diseases often ignore the existence of these diseases. However, Huntington's disease (HD) is an exception. OBJECTIVE: To qualitatively analyze factors motivating HD patients to participate in a study, namely the European Huntington's Disease Network (EHDN) REGISTRY. DESIGN, TIME AND SETTING: An observational survey was conducted in the EHDN Study Site in Pozna(n), Poland between 2007 and 2008.PARTICIPANTS: The study involved 22 persons affected with HD and 3 pre-symptomatic individuals, totaling 9 males and 16 females. The 24 participants in this study had 24 different caregivers. A total of 25 symptomatic or pre-symptomatic subjects participated in the initial REGISTRY visit, as well as 6 in the second, and 1 in the third. All subjects did not know each other prior to the visit. METHODS: A mutation in the IT15 gene was confirmed in each patient or pre-symptomatic mutation carrier. An in-depth interview produced detailed information on the HD patients, as well as the caregivers, for the REGISTRY study. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: A qualitative analysis of the factors motivating HD patients and the pre-symptomatic mutation carriers to participate in the REGISTRY longitudinal, observational, research project was performed. RESULTS: The primary motivating factor for involvement of HD patients and the caregivers in the REGISTRY study was the hope that an effective HD therapy would soon be discovered. In HD patients and the pre-symptomatic group, the response to participate in the REGISTRY project reached 100%, despite the fact that they knew the project was only an observational study. CONCLUSION: Patient hope is thought to be a factor for engaging in preventive, therapeutic activities. However, this is rarely mentioned in medical papers and clinical textbooks, and is usually overlooked in medical teaching. Clearly, efforts should be made to

  17. Discrepancies in reporting the CAG repeat lengths for Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quarrell, Oliver W; Handley, Olivia; O'Donovan, Kirsty; Dumoulin, Christine; Ramos-Arroyo, Maria; Biunno, Ida; Bauer, Peter; Kline, Margaret; Landwehrmeyer, G Bernhard

    2012-01-01

    Huntington's disease results from a CAG repeat expansion within the Huntingtin gene; this is measured routinely in diagnostic laboratories. The European Huntington's Disease Network REGISTRY project centrally measures CAG repeat lengths on fresh samples; these were compared with the original results from 121 laboratories across 15 countries. We report on 1326 duplicate results; a discrepancy in reporting the upper allele occurred in 51% of cases, this reduced to 13.3% and 9.7% when we applied acceptable measurement errors proposed by the American College of Medical Genetics and the Draft European Best Practice Guidelines, respectively. Duplicate results were available for 1250 lower alleles; discrepancies occurred in 40% of cases. Clinically significant discrepancies occurred in 4.0% of cases with a potential unexplained misdiagnosis rate of 0.3%. There was considerable variation in the discrepancy rate among 10 of the countries participating in this study. Out of 1326 samples, 348 were re-analysed by an accredited diagnostic laboratory, based in Germany, with concordance rates of 93% and 94% for the upper and lower alleles, respectively. This became 100% if the acceptable measurement errors were applied. The central laboratory correctly reported allele sizes for six standard reference samples, blind to the known result. Our study differs from external quality assessment (EQA) schemes in that these are duplicate results obtained from a large sample of patients across the whole diagnostic range. We strongly recommend that laboratories state an error rate for their measurement on the report, participate in EQA schemes and use reference materials regularly to adjust their own internal standards.

  18. Antipsychotic drug binding in the substantia nigra: an examination of high metoclopramide binding in the brains of normal, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and Multiple Sclerosis patients, and its relation to tardive dyskinesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Sheng; Seeman, Philip; Liu, Fang

    2011-02-01

    This project was done in order to determine why the annual incidence of metoclopramide-associated tardive dyskinesia is much higher than that for the commonly used antipsychotics. To test the hypothesis that metoclopramide tardive dyskinesia may be associated with high concentrations of metoclopramide in the substantia nigra under clinical conditions, the nonspecific binding of tritiated antipsychotics to the dissected melaninized regions of postmortem human substantia nigra was measured. The nonspecific binding at 1 nM [³H]ligand was 7.3, 4.2, 2.6, 0.91 and 0.66 fmoles/mg for [³H]haloperidol, [³H]clozapine, [³H]raclopride, [³H]metoclopramide, and [³H]olanzapine, respectively. After adjusting these values for the known free concentrations of these drugs in plasma or spinal fluid, the amounts that would be bound under clinical conditions would be 231, 113, 15, 11, and 3.4 fmoles/mg for metoclopramide, clozapine, raclopride, haloperidol, and olanzapine, respectively. Using rat striatum as baseline to define antipsychotic binding to nonnigral tissue, the excess amount of binding to the Alzheimer nigral tissue under clinical conditions would be 209, 19, 0, 3.4 and 0.8 fmole/mg for metoclopramide, clozapine, raclopride, haloperidol, and olanzapine, respectively, with a similar pattern for nigral tissues from Huntington and Multiple Sclerosis patients. The high accumulation of metoclopramide is sufficiently high to cause nigral nerve cell membrane damage by metoclopramide's detergent-like action, possibly explaining metoclopramide's toxic ability to elicit early tardive dyskinesia. In addition, the nonspecific binding of metoclopramide was much higher in Alzheimer-diseased substantia nigra, consistent with the fact that older individuals are relatively more vulnerable to metoclopramide tardive dyskinesia.

  19. The Current Status of Neural Grafting in the Treatment of Huntington's Disease. A Review

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wijeyekoon, Ruwani; Barker, Roger A

    2011-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a devastating, fatal, autosomal dominant condition in which the abnormal gene codes for a mutant form of huntingtin that causes widespread neuronal dysfunction and death...

  20. Hypothalamic Alterations in Huntington's Disease Patients : Comparison with Genetic Rodent Models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Wamelen, D.J.; Aziz, N A; Roos, R A C; Swaab, D F

    2014-01-01

    Unintended weight loss, sleep and circadian disturbances and autonomic dysfunction are prevalent features of Huntington's disease (HD), an autosomal dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expanded CAG repeat sequence in the HTT gene. These features form a substantial contributi

  1. Dynamics of the connectome in Huntington's disease : A longitudinal diffusion MRI study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Odish, Omar F F; Caeyenberghs, Karen; Hosseini, Hadi; Van Den Bogaard, Simon J A; Roos, Raymund A C; Leemans, A

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Objectives To longitudinally investigate the connectome in different stages of Huntington's disease (HD) by applying graph theoretical analysis to diffusion MRI data. Experimental design We constructed weighted structural networks and calculated their topological properties. Twenty-two prem

  2. A double blind trial of sulpiride in Huntington's disease and tardive dyskinesia.

    OpenAIRE

    Quinn, N.; Marsden, C. D.

    1984-01-01

    Eleven patients with Huntington's disease and nine patients with tardive dyskinesia participated in a randomised double-blind crossover trial of sulpiride (as sole antidopaminergic therapy) versus placebo. Although functional improvement was not seen in Huntington's disease patients, sulpiride reduced movement count and total dyskinesia score in both conditions. Sulpiride differs pharmacologically in several respects from conventional neuroleptics, and has not been convincingly shown to cause...

  3. The story of George Huntington and his disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kalyan B Bhattacharyya

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available George Huntington described some families with choreiform movements in 1872 in the United States of America and since then many such families have been described in other parts of the world and works on the genetics of the disease have brought new vistas in the understanding of the disease. In 1958, Americo Negrette, a young Venezuelan physician observed similar subjects in the vicinity of Lake Maracaibo which was presented by his co-worker, Ramon Avilla Giron at New York in 1972 when United States of America had been commemorating the centenary year of Huntington′s disease. Nancy Wexler, a psychoanalyst, whose mother had been suffering from the disease attended the meeting and organized a research team to Venezuela and they systematically studied more than 18,000 individuals in order to work out a common pedigree. They identified the genetic locus of the disease in the short arm of chromosome 4 and observed that it was a trinucleotide repeat disorder.

  4. FTY720 (fingolimod) is a neuroprotective and disease-modifying agent in cellular and mouse models of Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Pardo, Alba; Amico, Enrico; Favellato, Mariagrazia; Castrataro, Roberta; Fucile, Sergio; Squitieri, Ferdinando; Maglione, Vittorio

    2014-05-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is a genetic neurodegenerative disorder for which there is currently no cure and no way to stop or even slow the brain changes it causes. In the present study, we aimed to investigate whether FTY720, the first approved oral therapy for multiple sclerosis, may be effective in HD models and eventually constitute an alternative therapeutic approach for the treatment of the disease. Here, we utilized preclinical target validation paradigms and examined the in vivo efficacy of chronic administration of FTY720 in R6/2 HD mouse model. Our findings indicate that FTY720 improved motor function, prolonged survival and reduced brain atrophy in R6/2 mice. The beneficial effect of FTY720 administration was associated with a significant strengthening of neuronal activity and connectivity and, with reduction of mutant huntingtin aggregates, and it was also paralleled by increased phosphorylation of mutant huntingtin at serine 13/16 residues that are predicted to attenuate protein toxicity.

  5. A systems-level "misunderstanding": the plasma metabolome in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosas, Herminia D; Doros, Gheorghe; Bhasin, Swati; Thomas, Beena; Gevorkian, Sona; Malarick, Keith; Matson, Wayne; Hersch, Steven M

    2015-07-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a rare neurodegenerative disease caused by the expansion of an N-terminal repeat in the huntingtin protein. The protein is expressed in all cells in the body; hence, peripheral tissues, such as blood, may recapitulate processes in the brain. The plasma metabolome may provide a window into active processes that influence brain health and a unique opportunity to noninvasively identify processes that may contribute to neurodegeneration. Alterations in metabolic pathways in brain have been shown to profoundly impact HD. Therefore, identification and quantification of critical metabolomic perturbations could provide novel biomarkers for disease onset and disease progression. We analyzed the plasma metabolomic profiles from 52 premanifest (PHD), 102 early symptomatic HD, and 140 healthy controls (NC) using liquid chromatography coupled with a highly sensitive electrochemical detection platform. Alterations in tryptophan, tyrosine, purine, and antioxidant pathways were identified, including many related to energetic and oxidative stress and derived from the gut microbiome. Multivariate statistical modeling demonstrated mutually distinct metabolomic profiles, suggesting that the processes that determine onset were likely distinct from those that determine progression. Gut microbiome-derived metabolites particularly differentiated the PHD metabolome, while the symptomatic HD metabolome was increasingly influenced by metabolites that may reflect mutant huntingtin toxicity and neurodegeneration. Understanding the complex changes in the delicate balance of the metabolome and the gut microbiome in HD, and how they relate to disease onset, progression, and phenotypic variability in HD are critical questions for future research.

  6. Diffusion tensor imaging of brain white matter in Huntington gene mutation individuals

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    Roberta Arb Saba

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Objective To evaluate the role of the involvement of white matter tracts in huntingtin gene mutation patients as a potential biomarker of the progression of the disease. Methods We evaluated 34 participants (11 symptomatic huntingtin gene mutation, 12 presymptomatic huntingtin gene mutation, and 11 controls. We performed brain magnetic resonance imaging to assess white matter integrity using diffusion tensor imaging, with measurement of fractional anisotropy. Results We observed a significant decrease of fractional anisotropy in the cortical spinal tracts, corona radiate, corpus callosum, external capsule, thalamic radiations, superior and inferior longitudinal fasciculus, and inferior frontal-occipital fasciculus in the Huntington disease group compared to the control and presymptomatic groups. Reduction of fractional anisotropy is indicative of a degenerative process and axonal loss. There was no statistically significant difference between the presymptomatic and control groups. Conclusion White matter integrity is affected in huntingtin gene mutation symptomatic individuals, but other studies with larger samples are required to assess its usefulness in the progression of the neurodegenerative process.

  7. Tractography of the corpus callosum in Huntington's disease.

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    Owen Phillips

    Full Text Available White matter abnormalities have been shown in presymptomatic and symptomatic Huntington's disease (HD subjects using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI methods. The largest white matter tract, the corpus callosum (CC, has been shown to be particularly vulnerable; however, little work has been done to investigate the regional specificity of tract abnormalities in the CC. Thus, this study examined the major callosal tracts by applying DTI-based tractography. Using TrackVis, a previously defined region of interest tractography method parcellating CC into seven major tracts based on target region was applied to 30 direction DTI data collected from 100 subjects: presymptomatic HD (Pre-HD subjects (n=25, HD patients (n=25 and healthy control subjects (n=50. Tractography results showed decreased fractional anisotropy (FA and increased radial diffusivity (RD across broad regions of the CC in Pre-HD subjects. Similar though more severe deficits were seen in HD patients. In Pre-HD and HD, callosal FA and RD were correlated with Disease Burden/CAG repeat length as well as motor (UHDRSI and cognitive (URDRS2 assessments. These results add evidence that CC pathways are compromised prior to disease onset with possible demyelination occurring early in the disease and suggest that CAG repeat length is a contributing factor to connectivity deficits. Furthermore, disruption of these callosal pathways potentially contributes to the disturbances of motor and cognitive processing that characterize HD.

  8. Metabolic disruption identified in the Huntington's disease transgenic sheep model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handley, Renee R; Reid, Suzanne J; Patassini, Stefano; Rudiger, Skye R; Obolonkin, Vladimir; McLaughlan, Clive J; Jacobsen, Jessie C; Gusella, James F; MacDonald, Marcy E; Waldvogel, Henry J; Bawden, C Simon; Faull, Richard L M; Snell, Russell G

    2016-02-11

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a dominantly inherited, progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG repeat expansion within exon 1 of HTT, encoding huntingtin. There are no therapies that can delay the progression of this devastating disease. One feature of HD that may play a critical role in its pathogenesis is metabolic disruption. Consequently, we undertook a comparative study of metabolites in our transgenic sheep model of HD (OVT73). This model does not display overt symptoms of HD but has circadian rhythm alterations and molecular changes characteristic of the early phase disease. Quantitative metabolite profiles were generated from the motor cortex, hippocampus, cerebellum and liver tissue of 5 year old transgenic sheep and matched controls by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Differentially abundant metabolites were evident in the cerebellum and liver. There was striking tissue-specificity, with predominantly amino acids affected in the transgenic cerebellum and fatty acids in the transgenic liver, which together may indicate a hyper-metabolic state. Furthermore, there were more strong pair-wise correlations of metabolite abundance in transgenic than in wild-type cerebellum and liver, suggesting altered metabolic constraints. Together these differences indicate a metabolic disruption in the sheep model of HD and could provide insight into the presymptomatic human disease.

  9. Early energy deficit in Huntington disease: identification of a plasma biomarker traceable during disease progression.

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    Fanny Mochel

    Full Text Available Huntington disease (HD is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder, with no effective treatment. The pathogenic mechanisms underlying HD has not been elucidated, but weight loss, associated with chorea and cognitive decline, is a characteristic feature of the disease that is accessible to investigation. We, therefore, performed a multiparametric study exploring body weight and the mechanisms of its loss in 32 presymptomatic carriers and HD patients in the early stages of the disease, compared to 21 controls. We combined this study with a multivariate statistical analysis of plasma components quantified by proton nuclear magnetic resonance ((1H NMR spectroscopy. We report evidence of an early hypermetabolic state in HD. Weight loss was observed in the HD group even in presymptomatic carriers, although their caloric intake was higher than that of controls. Inflammatory processes and primary hormonal dysfunction were excluded. (1H NMR spectroscopy on plasma did, however, distinguish HD patients at different stages of the disease and presymptomatic carriers from controls. This distinction was attributable to low levels of the branched chain amino acids (BCAA, valine, leucine and isoleucine. BCAA levels were correlated with weight loss and, importantly, with disease progression and abnormal triplet repeat expansion size in the HD1 gene. Levels of IGF1, which is regulated by BCAA, were also significantly lower in the HD group. Therefore, early weight loss in HD is associated with a systemic metabolic defect, and BCAA levels may be used as a biomarker, indicative of disease onset and early progression. The decreased plasma levels of BCAA may correspond to a critical need for Krebs cycle energy substrates in the brain that increased metabolism in the periphery is trying to provide.

  10. Somatostatin receptor 1 and 5 double knockout mice mimic neurochemical changes of Huntington's disease transgenic mice.

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    Padmesh S Rajput

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Selective degeneration of medium spiny neurons and preservation of medium sized aspiny interneurons in striatum has been implicated in excitotoxicity and pathophysiology of Huntington's disease (HD. However, the molecular mechanism for the selective sparing of medium sized aspiny neurons and vulnerability of projection neurons is still elusive. The pathological characteristic of HD is an extensive reduction of the striatal mass, affecting caudate putamen. Somatostatin (SST positive neurons are selectively spared in HD and Quinolinic acid/N-methyl-D-aspartic acid induced excitotoxicity, mimic the model of HD. SST plays neuroprotective role in excitotoxicity and the biological effects of SST are mediated by five somatostatin receptor subtypes (SSTR1-5. METHODS AND FINDINGS: To delineate subtype selective biological responses we have here investigated changes in SSTR1 and 5 double knockout mice brain and compared with HD transgenic mouse model (R6/2. Our study revealed significant loss of dopamine and cAMP regulated phosphoprotein of 32 kDa (DARPP-32 and comparable changes in SST, N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptors subtypes, calbindin and brain nitric oxide synthase expression as well as in key signaling proteins including calpain, phospho-extracellular-signal-regulated kinases1/2, synapsin-IIa, protein kinase C-α and calcineurin in SSTR1/5(-/- and R6/2 mice. Conversely, the expression of somatostatin receptor subtypes, enkephalin and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases were strain specific. SSTR1/5 appears to be important in regulating NMDARs, DARPP-32 and signaling molecules in similar fashion as seen in HD transgenic mice. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first comprehensive description of disease related changes upon ablation of G- protein coupled receptor gene. Our results indicate that SST and SSTRs might play an important role in regulation of neurodegeneration and targeting this pathway can provide a novel insight in understanding the

  11. Cortical metabolites as biomarkers in the R6/2 model of Huntington's disease.

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    Zacharoff, Lori; Tkac, Ivan; Song, Qingfeng; Tang, Chuanning; Bolan, Patrick J; Mangia, Silvia; Henry, Pierre-Gilles; Li, Tongbin; Dubinsky, Janet M

    2012-03-01

    To improve the ability to move from preclinical trials in mouse models of Huntington's disease (HD) to clinical trials in humans, biomarkers are needed that can track similar aspects of disease progression across species. Brain metabolites, detectable by magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), have been suggested as potential biomarkers in HD. In this study, the R6/2 transgenic mouse model of HD was used to investigate the relative sensitivity of the metabolite profiling and the brain volumetry to anticipate the disease progression. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and (1)H MRS data were acquired at 9.4 T from the R6/2 mice and wild-type littermates at 4, 8, 12, and 15 weeks. Brain shrinkage was detectable in striatum, cortex, thalamus, and hypothalamus by 12 weeks. Metabolite changes in cortex paralleled and sometimes preceded those in striatum. The entire set of metabolite changes was compressed into principal components (PCs) using Partial Least Squares-Discriminant Analysis (PLS-DA) to increase the sensitivity for monitoring disease progression. In comparing the efficacy of volume and metabolite measurements, the cortical PC1 emerged as the most sensitive single biomarker, distinguishing R6/2 mice from littermates at all time points. Thus, neurochemical changes precede volume shrinkage and become potential biomarkers for HD mouse models.

  12. [Huntington disease: presymptomatic testing, prenatal diagnosis, preimplantation genetic diagnosis experience].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durr, A; Viville, S

    2007-10-01

    Presymptomatic testing for Huntington disease has been available for 15 years. The possibility of determining the genetic status of an at-risk person for the disorder which runs in his or her family raises questions because of the absence of preventive treatments. In addition, being carrier does not allow to determine when the disease starts and how it will evolve, impairing the possibilities of planning the future. A pluridisciplinary approach to predictive testing with care before, during and after the test taking into account the medical, social and psychological aspects of the disease is good practice. At the present time, only a minority of at-risk individuals request presymptomatic testing and almost 50% do not pursue until the results. The consequences of the test may be harmful, more frequently after an unfavorable than after a favorable result. Motivations and the outcome in terms of request for prenatal testing after a carrier result are known today and the number or prenatal testing remains very limited. Preimplantation genetic testing is an alternative for couples who knows or do not their own genetic status. We report our experience in two French centres: Paris for presymptomatic and prenatal testing and Strasbourg for preimplantation diagnosis.

  13. Cardiac Dysfunction in the BACHD Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease.

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    Analyne M Schroeder

    Full Text Available While Huntington's disease (HD is classified as a neurological disorder, HD patients exhibit a high incidence of cardiovascular events leading to heart failure and death. In this study, we sought to better understand the cardiovascular phenotype of HD using the BACHD mouse model. The age-related decline in cardiovascular function was assessed by echocardiograms, electrocardiograms, histological and microarray analysis. We found that structural and functional differences between WT and BACHD hearts start at 3 months of age and continue throughout life. The aged BACHD mice develop cardiac fibrosis and ultimately apoptosis. The BACHD mice exhibited adaptive physiological changes to chronic isoproterenol treatment; however, the medication exacerbated fibrotic lesions in the heart. Gene expression analysis indicated a strong tilt toward apoptosis in the young mutant heart as well as changes in genes involved in cellular metabolism and proliferation. With age, the number of genes with altered expression increased with the large changes occurring in the cardiovascular disease, cellular metabolism, and cellular transport clusters. The BACHD model of HD exhibits a number of changes in cardiovascular function that start early in the disease progress and may provide an explanation for the higher cardiovascular risk in HD.

  14. Influence of Species Differences on the Neuropathology of Transgenic Huntington's Disease Animal Models

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Xiao-Jiang Li; Shihua Li

    2012-01-01

    Transgenic animal models have revealed much about the pathogenesis of age-dependent neurodegenerative diseases and proved to be a useful tool for uncovering therapeutic targets.Huntington's disease is a well-characterized neurodegenerative disorder that is caused by expansion of a CAG repeat,which results in expansion of a polyglutamine tract in the N-terminal region of huntingtin (HTT).Similar CAG/glutamine expansions are also found to cause eight other neurodegenerative diseases that affect distinct brain regions in an agedependent manner.Identification of this CAG/glutamine expansion has led to the generation of a variety of transgenic animal models.Of these different animal models,transgenic mice have been investigated extensively,and they show similar neuropathology and phenotypes as seen in their respective diseases.The common pathological hallmark of age-dependent neurodegeneration is the formation of aggregates or inclusions consisting of misfolded proteins in the affected brain regions; however,overt or striking neurodegeneration and apoptosis have not been reported in most transgenic mouse models for age-dependent diseases,including HD.By comparing the neuropathology of transgenic HD mouse,pig,and monkey models,we found that mutant HTT is more toxic to larger animals than mice,and larger animals also show neuropathology that has not been uncovered by transgenic mouse models.This review will discuss the importancc of transgenic large animal models for analyzing the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases and developing effective treatments.

  15. An update on Huntington's disease: from the gene to the clinic.

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    Kim, Samuel D; Fung, Victor S C

    2014-08-01

    This review highlights the recent advances in Huntington's disease, with a particular focus on development of disease biomarkers for use in therapeutic trials in the premotor phase of the disease, as well as the growing literature regarding pathophysiological mechanisms and their relevance to potential therapeutic targets. There have been continued advances in the development of disease biomarkers, and promising neuroprotection trials are beginning to emerge in the premotor stage of Huntington's disease. Deeper understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms is being translated into potential therapeutic strategies. The premotor stage of Huntington's disease provides an ideal time to trial disease-modifying therapy, but reliable biomarkers are required for monitoring disease progression, and this remains an area of intense research. Our understanding of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms continues to expand, and a number of promising therapeutic strategies are emerging, including strategies to silence mutant huntingtin expression.

  16. Impaired TrkB receptor signaling underlies corticostriatal dysfunction in Huntington's disease.

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    Plotkin, Joshua L; Day, Michelle; Peterson, Jayms D; Xie, Zhong; Kress, Geraldine J; Rafalovich, Igor; Kondapalli, Jyothisri; Gertler, Tracy S; Flajolet, Marc; Greengard, Paul; Stavarache, Mihaela; Kaplitt, Michael G; Rosinski, Jim; Chan, C Savio; Surmeier, D James

    2014-07-02

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder. The debilitating choreic movements that plague HD patients have been attributed to striatal degeneration induced by the loss of cortically supplied brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Here, we show that in mouse models of early symptomatic HD, BDNF delivery to the striatum and its activation of tyrosine-related kinase B (TrkB) receptors were normal. However, in striatal neurons responsible for movement suppression, TrkB receptors failed to properly engage postsynaptic signaling mechanisms controlling the induction of potentiation at corticostriatal synapses. Plasticity was rescued by inhibiting p75 neurotrophin receptor (p75NTR) signaling or its downstream target phosphatase-and-tensin-homolog-deleted-on-chromosome-10 (PTEN). Thus, corticostriatal synaptic dysfunction early in HD is attributable to a correctable defect in the response to BDNF, not its delivery. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Huntington disease skeletal muscle is hyperexcitable owing to chloride and potassium channel dysfunction.

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    Waters, Christopher W; Varuzhanyan, Grigor; Talmadge, Robert J; Voss, Andrew A

    2013-05-28

    Huntington disease is a progressive and fatal genetic disorder with debilitating motor and cognitive defects. Chorea, rigidity, dystonia, and muscle weakness are characteristic motor defects of the disease that are commonly attributed to central neurodegeneration. However, no previous study has examined the membrane properties that control contraction in Huntington disease muscle. We show primary defects in ex vivo adult skeletal muscle from the R6/2 transgenic mouse model of Huntington disease. Action potentials in diseased fibers are more easily triggered and prolonged than in fibers from WT littermates. Furthermore, some action potentials in the diseased fibers self-trigger. These defects occur because of decreases in the resting chloride and potassium conductances. Consistent with this, the expression of the muscle chloride channel, ClC-1, in Huntington disease muscle was compromised by improper splicing and a corresponding reduction in total Clcn1 (gene for ClC-1) mRNA. Additionally, the total Kcnj2 (gene for the Kir2.1 potassium channel) mRNA was reduced in disease muscle. The resulting muscle hyperexcitability causes involuntary and prolonged contractions that may contribute to the chorea, rigidity, and dystonia that characterize Huntington disease.

  18. TAA repeat variation in the GRIK2 gene does not influence age at onset in Huntington's disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Ji-Hyun; Lee, Jong-Min; Ramos, Eliana Marisa; Gillis, Tammy; Mysore, Jayalakshmi S.; Kishikawa, Shotaro; Hadzi, Tiffany; Hendricks, Audrey E.; Hayden, Michael R.; Morrison, Patrick J.; Nance, Martha; Ross, Christopher A.; Margolis, Russell L.; Squitieri, Ferdinando; Gellera, Cinzia; Gomez-Tortosa, Estrella; Ayuso, Carmen; Suchowersky, Oksana; Trent, Ronald J.; McCusker, Elizabeth; Novelletto, Andrea; Frontali, Marina; Jones, Randi; Ashizawa, Tetsuo; Frank, Samuel; Saint-Hilaire, Marie-Helene; Hersch, Steven M.; Rosas, Herminia D.; Lucente, Diane; Harrison, Madaline B.; Zanko, Andrea; Abramson, Ruth K.; Marder, Karen; Sequeiros, Jorge; Landwehrmeyer, G. Bernhard; Network, Ira Shoulson; Myers, Richard H.; MacDonald, Marcy E.; Gusella, James F.

    2013-01-01

    Huntington's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expanded CAG trinucleotide repeat whose length is the major determinant of age at onset but remaining variation appears to be due in part to the effect of genetic modifiers. GRIK2, which encodes GluR6, a mediator of excitatory neurotransmission in the brain, has been suggested in several studies to be a modifier gene based upon a 3′ untranslated region TAA trinucleotide repeat polymorphism. Prior to investing in detailed studies of the functional impact of this polymorphism, we sought to confirm its effect on age at onset in a much larger dataset than in previous investigations. We genotyped the HD CAG repeat and the GRIK2 TAA repeat in DNA samples from 2,911 Huntington's disease subjects with known age at onset, and tested for a potential modifier effect of GRIK2 using a variety of statistical approaches. Unlike previous reports, we detected no evidence of an influence of the GRIK2 TAA repeat polymorphism on age at motor onset. Similarly, the GRIK2 polymorphism did not show significant modifier effect on psychiatric and cognitive age at onset in HD. Comprehensive analytical methods applied to a much larger sample than in previous studies do not support a role for GRIK2 as a genetic modifier of age at onset of clinical symptoms in Huntington's disease. PMID:22771793

  19. [IT15 gene analysis in two pedigrees of Huntington's disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Bao-Rong; Song, Fei; Yin, Xin-Zhen; Xia, Kun; Tian, Jun; Huang, Jian-Zheng; Xia, Jia-Hui

    2006-11-01

    To investigate the relationship between the clinical features and (CAG)n trinucleotide repeats in two pedigrees of Chinese Huntington's disease (HD). Clinical and neuroimaging features, the age of disease onset and pattern of transmission of the patients were studied in the two pedigrees of HD. Genomic DNA of 42 family members was used for amplification of the (CAG)n repeats of IT15 gene by PCR. The numbers of (CAG)n were determined by electrophoresis through a 6% polyacrylamide gel and direct sequence analysis. Results showed that patients in pedigree 1 were absent of the typical triad of HD symptoms or caudate atrophy. A total of 9 (5 patients and 4 asymptomatic) out of 18 family members had 40-50 (CAG)n repeats in the IT15 gene. In pedigree 2, all the patients were characterized by a triad of symptoms, including motor disturbance, cognitive impairment and psychiatric features. Three patients and two asymptomatic relatives had more than 50 (CAG)n repeats in the IT15 gene. In conclusion, the clinical symptoms are partly determined by (CAG)n repeats in the IT15 gene. The age of onset was correlated with (CAG)n repeats over 50, and the phenomenon called "anticipation" was found to have played a role.

  20. Transcriptional dysregulation in Huntington's disease: The role of histone deacetylases.

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    Sharma, Sorabh; Taliyan, Rajeev

    2015-10-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive neurological disorder for which there are no disease-modifying treatments. Although, the exact underlying mechanism(s) leading to the neural cell death in HD still remains elusive, the transcriptional dysregulation is a major molecular feature. Recently, the transcriptional activation and repression regulated by chromatin acetylation has been found to be impaired in HD pathology. The acetylation and deacetylation of histone proteins is carried out by opposing actions of histone acetyl-transferases and histone deacetylases (HDACs), respectively. Studies carried out in cell culture, yeast, Drosophila and rodent model(s) have indicated that HDAC inhibitors (HDACIs) might provide useful class of therapeutic agents for HD. Clinical trials have also reported the beneficial effects of HDACIs in patients suffering from HD. Therefore, the development of HDACIs as therapeutics for HD has been vigorously pursued. In this review, we highlight and summarize the putative role of HDACs in HD like pathology and further discuss the potential of HDACIs as new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of HD. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Cognitive and behavioral changes in Huntington disease before diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulsen, Jane S; Miller, Amanda C; Hayes, Terry; Shaw, Emily

    2017-01-01

    Phenotypic manifestations of Huntington disease (HD) can be detected at least 15 years prior to the time when a motor diagnosis is given. Advances in clinical care and future research will require consistent use of HD definitions and HD premanifest (prodromal) stages being used across clinics, sites, and countries. Cognitive and behavioral (psychiatric) changes in HD are summarized and implications for ongoing advancement in our knowledge of prodromal HD are suggested. The earliest detected cognitive changes are observed in the Symbol Digit Modalities Test, Stroop Interference, Stroop Color and Word Test-interference condition, and Trail Making Test. Cognitive changes in the middle and near motor diagnostic stages of prodromal HD involve nearly every cognitive test administered and the greatest changes over time (i.e., slopes) are found in those prodromal HD participants who are nearest to motor diagnosis. Psychiatric changes demonstrate significant worsening over time and remain elevated compared with healthy controls throughout the prodromal disease course. Psychiatric and behavior changes in prodromal HD are much lower than that obtained using cognitive assessment, although the psychiatric and behavioral changes represent symptoms most debilitating to independent capacity and wellness. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Rate of change in early Huntington's disease: a clinicometric analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Christina; Landwehrmeyer, Bernhard; Schwenke, Carsten; Doble, Adam; Orth, Michael; Ludolph, Albert C

    2012-01-01

    Sensitive outcome measures for patients with Huntington's disease (HD) are required for future clinical trials. Longitudinal data were collected from a 3-year study of 379 patients suffering from early HD who were not treated by antipsychotics. Progression of UHDRS item scores was evaluated by linear regression and slope, whereas correlation coefficient, standard error, and P values were estimated on the basis of the data of eight evaluations from screening to study end (36 months). For the functional assessment dimension, the proportion of "no" responses at baseline and at study end was determined. Linear progression was observed for the motor score and for all three functional measures (i.e., functional assessment score, independence assessment score, and total functional capacity score). In contrast, there was little evidence for progression of the behavioral assessment score over the study period, whereas the cognitive assessment score was intermediate. Twenty-two motor-score items showed linear progression, with a slope of >0.003. These included all chorea items, finger tapping and pronation/supination (left and right), gait, tongue protrusion, and tandem walking. Different symptom domains and individual items evolved at different rates in this group of patients suffering from early HD. It may be possible to select sensitive items to create a simplified version of the UHDRS, which would be more efficient and more sensitive for the assessment of disease progression in clinical trials and natural history studies.

  3. Factors associated with Mediterranean diet adherence in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivadeneyra, Jéssica; Cubo, Esther; Gil, Cecilia; Calvo, Sara; Mariscal, Natividad; Martínez, Asunción

    2016-04-01

    Little is known about the importance of the Mediterranean Diet (MeDi) and dietary intake as environmental neuroprotective factors in Huntington's disease (HD); so, we evaluated and analyzed the prevalence and factors associated with MeDi adherence, and dietary intake in HD. Spanish participants of the European Huntington Disease Network (EHDN) Registry study diagnosed with HD or premanifest HD gene carriers were included from June 2012 to August 2013. Self-reported dietary intake was collected by 3-day dietary record, MeDi adherence was assessed by 0-9 range (proposed by Trichopoulou et al.) and, other contributing factors related to nutrition were collected by telephone. Demographics and clinical variables were obtained from the EHDN Registry study database. Association of HD with MeDi adherence and nutritional characteristics were performed using logistic regression models. Ninety eight participants were included in the study, median age of 48 years (38-60 range), and median total functional capacity (TFC) 9 (5-13 range). HD severity was similar between participants with low vs moderate/high MeDi; however, quality of life (P = 0.009) was significantly higher among participants with moderate/high MeDi adherence. In terms of nutrients, higher MUFA/SFA intake was moderately correlated with better TFC and Unified HD Rating Scale (UHDRS) cognitive. Better TFC was associated with having a caregiver (OR = 11.86, P adherence to MeDi, was associated with older participants (OR = 1.19, P = 0.031), lower comorbidity (OR = 0.18, P = 0.018), lower UHDRS motor (OR = 0.90, P = 0.041), and lower risk for abdominal obesity (OR = 0.02, P = 0.011). In HD the moderate MeDi adherence is associated with better quality of life, lower comorbidity, lower motor impairment and lower risk for abdominal obesity compared to those participants with low MeDi adherence. Copyright © 2016 European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All

  4. Rating scales for behavioral symptoms in Huntington's disease: Critique and recommendations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mestre, Tiago A; van Duijn, Erik; Davis, Aileen M; Bachoud-Lévi, Anne-Catherine; Busse, Monica; Anderson, Karen E; Ferreira, Joaquim J; Mahlknecht, Philipp; Tumas, Vitor; Sampaio, Cristina; Goetz, Chris G; Cubo, Esther; Stebbins, Glenn T; Martinez-Martin, Pablo

    2016-10-01

    Behavioral symptoms are an important feature of Huntington's disease and contribute to impairment in quality of life. The Movement Disorder Society commissioned the assessment of the clinimetric properties of rating scales in Huntington's disease to make recommendations regarding their use, following previously used standardized criteria. A systematic literature search was conducted to identify the scales used to assess behavioral symptoms in Huntington's disease. For the purpose of this review, 7 behavioral domains were deemed significant in Huntington's disease: irritability, anxiety, depression, apathy, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, psychosis, and suicidal ideation. We included a total of 27 behavioral rating scales, 19 of which were of a single behavioral domain and the remaining 8 scales included multiple behavioral domains. Three rating scales were classified as "recommended" exclusively for screening purposes: the Irritability Scale for irritability, the Beck Depression Inventory-II, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale for depression. There were no "recommended" scales for other purposes such as diagnosis, severity, or change in time or to treatment. The main challenges identified for assessment of behavioral symptoms in Huntington's disease are the co-occurrence of multiple behavioral symptoms, the particular features of a behavioral symptom in Huntington's disease, and the need to address stage- and disease-specific features, including cognitive impairment and lack of insight. The committee concluded that there is a need to further validate currently available behavioral rating scales in Huntington's disease to address gaps in scale validation for specific behavioral domains and purpose of use. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  5. Progressive Impairment of Lactate-based Gluconeogenesis in the Huntington's Disease Mouse Model R6/2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Signe Marie Borch; Hasholt, Lis; Nørremølle, Anne;

    2015-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative illness, where selective neuronal loss in the brain caused by expression of mutant huntingtin protein leads to motor dysfunction and cognitive decline in addition to peripheral metabolic changes. In this study we confirm our previous observation...... of impairment of lactate-based hepatic gluconeogenesis in the transgenic HD mouse model R6/2 and determine that the defect manifests very early and progresses in severity with disease development, indicating a potential to explore this defect in a biomarker context. Moreover, R6/2 animals displayed lower blood...

  6. Awareness of memory deficits in early stage Huntington's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laurent Cleret de Langavant

    Full Text Available Patients with Huntington's disease (HD are often described as unaware of their motor symptoms, their behavioral disorders or their cognitive deficits, including memory. Nevertheless, because patients with Parkinson's disease (PD remain aware of their memory deficits despite striatal dysfunction, we hypothesize that early stage HD patients in whom degeneration predominates in the striatum can accurately judge their own memory disorders whereas more advanced patients cannot. In order to test our hypothesis, we compared subjective questionnaires of memory deficits (in HD patients and in their proxies and objective measures of memory dysfunction in patients. Forty-six patients with manifest HD attending the out-patient department of the French National Reference Center for HD and thirty-three proxies were enrolled. We found that HD patients at an early stage of the disease (Stage 1 were more accurate than their proxies at evaluating their own memory deficits, independently from their depression level. The proxies were more influenced by patients' functional decline rather than by patients' memory deficits. Patients with moderate disease (Stage 2 misestimated their memory deficits compared to their proxies, whose judgment was nonetheless influenced by the severity of both functional decline and depression. Contrasting subjective memory ratings from the patients and their objective memory performance, we demonstrate that although HD patients are often reported to be unaware of their neurological, cognitive and behavioral symptoms, it is not the case for memory deficits at an early stage. Loss of awareness of memory deficits in HD is associated with the severity of the disease in terms of CAG repeats, functional decline, motor dysfunction and cognitive impairment, including memory deficits and executive dysfunction.

  7. HTT-lowering reverses Huntington's disease immune dysfunction caused by NFκB pathway dysregulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Träger, Ulrike; Andre, Ralph; Lahiri, Nayana; Magnusson-Lind, Anna; Weiss, Andreas; Grueninger, Stephan; McKinnon, Chris; Sirinathsinghji, Eva; Kahlon, Shira; Pfister, Edith L; Moser, Roger; Hummerich, Holger; Antoniou, Michael; Bates, Gillian P; Luthi-Carter, Ruth; Lowdell, Mark W; Björkqvist, Maria; Ostroff, Gary R; Aronin, Neil; Tabrizi, Sarah J

    2014-03-01

    Huntington's disease is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the huntingtin gene. The peripheral innate immune system contributes to Huntington's disease pathogenesis and has been targeted successfully to modulate disease progression, but mechanistic understanding relating this to mutant huntingtin expression in immune cells has been lacking. Here we demonstrate that human Huntington's disease myeloid cells produce excessive inflammatory cytokines as a result of the cell-intrinsic effects of mutant huntingtin expression. A direct effect of mutant huntingtin on the NFκB pathway, whereby it interacts with IKKγ, leads to increased degradation of IκB and subsequent nuclear translocation of RelA. Transcriptional alterations in intracellular immune signalling pathways are also observed. Using a novel method of small interfering RNA delivery to lower huntingtin expression, we show reversal of disease-associated alterations in cellular function-the first time this has been demonstrated in primary human cells. Glucan-encapsulated small interfering RNA particles were used to lower huntingtin levels in human Huntington's disease monocytes/macrophages, resulting in a reversal of huntingtin-induced elevated cytokine production and transcriptional changes. These findings improve our understanding of the role of innate immunity in neurodegeneration, introduce glucan-encapsulated small interfering RNA particles as tool for studying cellular pathogenesis ex vivo in human cells and raise the prospect of immune cell-directed HTT-lowering as a therapeutic in Huntington's disease.

  8. Prospects for neuroprotective therapies in prodromal Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandra, Abhishek; Johri, Ashu; Beal, M Flint

    2014-03-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a prototypical dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive cognitive deterioration, psychiatric disturbances, and a movement disorder. The genetic cause of the illness is a CAG repeat expansion in the huntingtin gene, which leads to a polyglutamine expansion in the huntingtin protein. The exact mechanism by which mutant huntingtin causes HD is unknown, but it causes abnormalities in gene transcription as well as both mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative damage. Because the penetrance of HD is complete with CAG repeats greater than 39, patients can be diagnosed well before disease onset with genetic testing. Longitudinal studies of HD patients before disease onset have shown that subtle cognitive and motor deficits occur as much as 10 years before onset, as do reductions in glucose utilization and striatal atrophy. An increase in inflammation, as shown by elevated interleukin-6, occurs approximately 15 years before onset. Detection of these abnormalities may be useful in defining an optimal time for disease intervention to try to slow or halt the degenerative process. Although reducing gene expression with small interfering RNA or short hairpin RNA is an attractive approach, other approaches targeting energy metabolism, inflammation, and oxidative damage may be more easily and rapidly moved into the clinic. The recent PREQUEL study of coenzyme Q10 in presymptomatic gene carriers showed the feasibility of carrying out clinical trials to slow or halt onset of HD. We review both the earliest detectable clinical and laboratory manifestations of HD, as well as potential neuroprotective therapies that could be utilized in presymptomatic HD.

  9. Familial aggregation of schizophrenia-like symptoms in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuang, D; DiGiacomo, L; Lipe, H; Bird, T D

    1998-07-10

    An increased incidence of schizophrenia-like symptoms in Huntington's disease (HD) has been well-documented in the past. The reasons for this association, however, have never been explained. At the University of Washington Medical Genetics Clinic, we had the opportunity to evaluate a unique juvenile-onset HD proband who had schizophrenia-like symptoms. This patient was referred to our clinic because of new onset of somatic delusions and command auditory hallucinations early in the course of her illness. Since we had already evaluated other affected individuals in her family, we selected another family with a nonpsychotic juvenile-onset proband for comparison. Using these two families in a small case-control study, we investigated the following hypotheses which could explain the association between schizophrenia-like symptoms and HD: first, schizophrenia-like symptoms may be related to the number of CAG repeats in the HD gene; second, schizophrenia-like symptoms may segregate in certain HD families, for unknown reasons; and third, there may coincidentally be an unrelated gene for schizophrenia in certain HD families. Comparisons of clinical characteristics and the HD genotype showed that family history of schizophrenia-like symptoms segregated with the HD gene; however, age of onset of HD, size of CAG repeat, and sex of the transmitting parent were not associated with psychotic symptoms. Further genetic and neurobiological studies are necessary to investigate the potential mechanism underlying this association.

  10. The Role of Dopamine and Glutamate Modulation in Huntington Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mittal, Sumeer K.; Eddy, Clare

    2013-01-01

    Background: Huntington disease (HD) is an inherited neuropsychiatric condition with progressive neurodegenerative changes, mainly affecting the striatum. Pathological processes within the striatum are likely to lead to alterations in dopamine and glutamate activity in frontostriatal circuitry, resulting in characteristic motor, behavioural and cognitive symptoms. Methods: We conducted a systematic literature search in order to identify and review randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trials of anti-dopaminergic and anti-glutamatergic therapy in HD. Results: Ten studies satisfied our selection criteria. These studies investigated a range of agents which act to antagonise dopamine (tetrabenazine, typical and atypical antipsychotics) or glutamate (amantadine, riluzole) transmission. Discussion: Although most agents showed efficacy in terms of amelioration of chorea, the available evidence did not allow us to identify a universally effective treatment. One difficulty associated with analysing the available evidence was a high prevalence of side effects, which prevented the full therapeutic potential of the medications from being adequately investigated. A further limitation is that many studies evaluated treatment effectiveness only in relation to patients' motor symptoms, even though behavioural and cognitive changes may negatively impact patients' quality of life. There is a clear need for further higher-level evidence addressing the effects of dopaminergic and glutamatergic agents on global functioning in HD. PMID:22713410

  11. Triplet repeat primed PCR simplifies testing for Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jama, Mohamed; Millson, Alison; Miller, Christine E; Lyon, Elaine

    2013-03-01

    Diagnostic and predictive testing for Huntington disease (HD) requires an accurate determination of the number of CAG repeats in the Huntingtin (HHT) gene. Currently, when a sample appears to be homozygous for a normal allele, additional testing is required to confirm amplification from both alleles. If the sample still appears homozygous, Southern blot analysis is performed to rule out an undetected expanded HTT allele. Southern blot analysis is expensive, time-consuming, and labor intensive and requires high concentrations of DNA. We have developed a chimeric PCR process to help streamline workflow; true homozygous alleles are easily distinguished by this simplified method, and only very large expanded alleles still require Southern blot analysis. Two hundred forty-six HD samples, previously run with a different fragment analysis method, were analyzed with our new method. All samples were correctly genotyped, resulting in 100% concordance between the methods. The chimeric PCR assay was able to identify expanded alleles up to >150 CAG repeats. This method offers a simple strategy to differentiate normal from expanded CAG alleles, thereby reducing the number of samples reflexed to Southern blot analysis. It also provides assurance that expanded alleles are not routinely missed because of allele dropout.

  12. Genetic Testing for Huntington's Disease: How Is the Decision Taken?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etchegary, Holly

    2006-01-01

    Research on genetic decision-making normally constructs the decision as an opportunity for choice. However, minimal research investigates how these decisions are taken and whether those who live with genetic risk perceive the test as an opportunity for choice. Employing semistructured interviews with at-risk persons, this study explored decisions about genetic testing for Huntington's disease (HD)--a fatal genetic disorder. A primary aim was to understand how test decisions were perceived. Qualitative data analysis revealed four decision pathways: (1) no decision to be made, (2) constrained decisions, (3) reevaluating the decision, and (4) indicators of HD. Contrary to the rational, "information-processor" approach to decision making, some test decisions were immediate and automatic. These stories challenged the conventional construction of a genetic-test decision as an opportunity for choice. Participant narratives suggested that this construction may be inadequate, at least for some people who live with genetic risk. Test decisions were sometimes constrained by perceived responsibility to other family members, notably offspring. For others at risk, the test decision was a dynamic process of critical thought and evaluation. Finally, behaviors that could be symptoms of HD were the catalyst for testing.

  13. Chinese patients with Huntington's disease initially presenting with spinocerebellar ataxia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Y; Sun, Y-M; Liu, Z-J; Ni, W; Shi, S-S; Wu, Z-Y

    2013-04-01

    Recent studies have described Huntington's disease (HD) patients with atypical onset of ataxia. Symptoms in these patients can overlap with those of spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA). We retrospectively examined clinical data for 82 HD probands and found 7 had initially been clinically diagnosed as SCA cases. Clinical features in these patients were further investigated and the number of CAG repeats in the huntingtin (HTT) gene was determined by direct sequencing. Genetic screenings for SCAs in the 7 patients were all negative. By contrast, HTT was heterozygous in each patient. The distribution of CAG number in the 7 patients was statistically the same as that in the other 75 patients. Each of 7 HD patients had presented with atypical onset of ataxia. The mean time from onset to HTT genetic testing was 5.6 ± 5.52 years. Three of the patients developed chorea, but the others did not. Our observations confirm the clinical heterogeneity of HD in Han Chinese. Based on these findings, testing for HTT expansions should be considered for clinically diagnosed SCA patients who test negatively in genetic screening of SCA genes.

  14. Huntington's disease in Greece: the experience of 14 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Panas, M; Karadima, G; Vassos, E; Kalfakis, N; Kladi, A; Christodoulou, K; Vassilopoulos, D

    2011-12-01

    A large scale genetic and epidemiological study of Huntington's disease (HD) was carried out in Greece from January 1995 to December 2008. Diagnostic testing was carried out in 461 symptomatic individuals, while 256 were tested for presymptomatic purposes. The diagnosis of HD with a CAG expansion ≥ 36 was confirmed in 278 symptomatic individuals. The prevalence of HD in Greece was estimated at approximately 2.5 to 5.4:100,000, while the mean minimum incidence was estimated at 2.2 to 4.4 per million per year. The molecular diagnosis of HD was confirmed in the majority of patients (84.4%) sent for confirmation. The false-positive cases 15.6% were characterized by the absence of a family history of HD and the presence of an atypical clinical picture. The uptake of predictive testing for HD was 8.6%. A prenatal test was requested in six pregnancies. The findings of our study do not differ significantly from those of similar studies from other European countries despite the relative genetic isolation of Greece. Of interest is the identification of clusters of HD in Greece. The presence or absence of a family history of HD should be interpreted cautiously, during the diagnostic process.

  15. Impaired PGC-1alpha function in muscle in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaturvedi, Rajnish K; Adhihetty, Peter; Shukla, Shubha; Hennessy, Thomas; Calingasan, Noel; Yang, Lichuan; Starkov, Anatoly; Kiaei, Mahmoud; Cannella, Milena; Sassone, Jenny; Ciammola, Andrea; Squitieri, Fernando; Beal, M Flint

    2009-08-15

    We investigated the role of PPAR gamma coactivator 1alpha (PGC-1alpha) in muscle dysfunction in Huntington's disease (HD). We observed reduced PGC-1alpha and target genes expression in muscle of HD transgenic mice. We produced chronic energy deprivation in HD mice by administering the catabolic stressor beta-guanidinopropionic acid (GPA), a creatine analogue that reduces ATP levels, activates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), which in turn activates PGC-1alpha. Treatment with GPA resulted in increased expression of AMPK, PGC-1alpha target genes, genes for oxidative phosphorylation, electron transport chain and mitochondrial biogenesis, increased oxidative muscle fibers, numbers of mitochondria and motor performance in wild-type, but not in HD mice. In muscle biopsies from HD patients, there was decreased PGC-1alpha, PGC-1beta and oxidative fibers. Oxygen consumption, PGC-1alpha, NRF1 and response to GPA were significantly reduced in myoblasts from HD patients. Knockdown of mutant huntingtin resulted in increased PGC-1alpha expression in HD myoblast. Lastly, adenoviral-mediated delivery of PGC-1alpha resulted increased expression of PGC-1alpha and markers for oxidative muscle fibers and reversal of blunted response for GPA in HD mice. These findings show that impaired function of PGC-1alpha plays a critical role in muscle dysfunction in HD, and that treatment with agents to enhance PGC-1alpha function could exert therapeutic benefits. Furthermore, muscle may provide a readily accessible tissue in which to monitor therapeutic interventions.

  16. Microglial Activation in the Pathogenesis of Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hui-Ming; Yang, Su; Huang, Shan-Shan; Tang, Bei-Sha; Guo, Ji-Feng

    2017-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by expanded CAG trinucleotide repeats (>36) in exon 1 of HTT gene that encodes huntingtin protein. Although HD is characterized by a predominant loss of neurons in the striatum and cortex, previous studies point to a critical role of aberrant accumulation of mutant huntingtin in microglia that contributes to the progressive neurodegeneration in HD, through both cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous mechanisms. Microglia are resident immune cells in the central nervous system (CNS), which function to surveil the microenvironment at a quiescent state. In response to various pro-inflammatory stimuli, microglia become activated and undergo two separate phases (M1 and M2 phenotype), which release pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α), anti-inflammatory cytokines, and growth factors (TGF-β, CD206, and Arg1), respectively. Immunoregulation by microglial activation could be either neurotoxic or neuroprotective. In this review, we summarized current understanding about microglial activation in the pathogenesis and progression of HD, with a primary focus of M1 and M2 phenotype of activated microglia and their corresponding signaling pathways.

  17. Non-Verbal and Verbal Fluency in Prodromal Huntington's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tarja-Brita Robins Wahlin

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Background: This study examines non-verbal (design and verbal (phonemic and semantic fluency in prodromal Huntington's disease (HD. An accumulating body of research indicates subtle deficits in cognitive functioning among prodromal mutation carriers for HD. Methods: Performance was compared between 32 mutation carriers and 38 non-carriers in order to examine the magnitude of impairment across fluency tasks. The predicted years to onset (PYTO in mutation carriers was calculated by a regression equation and used to divide the group according to whether onset was predicted as less than 12.75 years (HD+CLOSE; n = 16 or greater than 12.75 years (HD+DISTANT; n = 16. Results: The results indicate that both non-verbal and verbal fluency is sensitive to subtle impairment in prodromal HD. HD+CLOSE group produced fewer items in all assessed fluency tasks compared to non-carriers. HD+DISTANT produced fewer drawings than non-carriers in the non-verbal task. PYTO correlated significantly with all measures of non-verbal and verbal fluency. Conclusion: The pattern of results indicates that subtle cognitive deficits exist in prodromal HD, and that less structured tasks with high executive demands are the most sensitive in detecting divergence from the normal range of functioning. These selective impairments can be attributed to the early involvement of frontostriatal circuitry and frontal lobes.

  18. Activating transcription factor 6 derepression mediates neuroprotection in Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naranjo, José R; Zhang, Hongyu; Villar, Diego; González, Paz; Dopazo, Xose M; Morón-Oset, Javier; Higueras, Elena; Oliveros, Juan C; Arrabal, María D; Prieto, Angela; Cercós, Pilar; González, Teresa; De la Cruz, Alicia; Casado-Vela, Juan; Rábano, Alberto; Valenzuela, Carmen; Gutierrez-Rodriguez, Marta; Li, Jia-Yi; Mellström, Britt

    2016-02-01

    Deregulated protein and Ca2+ homeostasis underlie synaptic dysfunction and neurodegeneration in Huntington disease (HD); however, the factors that disrupt homeostasis are not fully understood. Here, we determined that expression of downstream regulatory element antagonist modulator (DREAM), a multifunctional Ca2+-binding protein, is reduced in murine in vivo and in vitro HD models and in HD patients. DREAM downregulation was observed early after birth and was associated with endogenous neuroprotection. In the R6/2 mouse HD model, induced DREAM haplodeficiency or blockade of DREAM activity by chronic administration of the drug repaglinide delayed onset of motor dysfunction, reduced striatal atrophy, and prolonged life span. DREAM-related neuroprotection was linked to an interaction between DREAM and the unfolded protein response (UPR) sensor activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6). Repaglinide blocked this interaction and enhanced ATF6 processing and nuclear accumulation of transcriptionally active ATF6, improving prosurvival UPR function in striatal neurons. Together, our results identify a role for DREAM silencing in the activation of ATF6 signaling, which promotes early neuroprotection in HD.

  19. Making a measurable difference in advanced Huntington disease care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moskowitz, Carol Brown; Rao, Ashwini K

    2017-01-01

    Neurologists' role in the care of people with advanced Huntington disease (HD) (total functional capacity <7), often limited by a lack of clinical research to support good practice, includes the following: (1) provide comprehensive health records to an interdisciplinary care staff before admission to a more intense care setting (home health services, day program, assisted living, group home, long-term skilled nursing facility, palliative care); (2) consult with and refer to rehabilitation (occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language pathology), behavioral and psychiatric professionals for problem-solving strategies, which must be reviewed with direct care staff before implementation; (3) encourage and support qualitative and quantitative interdisciplinary research studies, and randomized controlled studies of nonpharmacologic interventions; and (4) assist in the development of meaningful measures to further document what works to provide a good quality of life for the patient and family and a comfortable thoughtful approach to a good death. Collaborative models of care depend on: (1) clear communication; (2) ongoing education and support programs; with (3) pharmacologic and rehabilitation interventions, always in the context of respect for the person with HD, a preservation of the individuals' dignity, autonomy, and individual preferences. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Founder mutation for Huntington disease in Caucasus Jews.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melamed, O; Behar, D M; Bram, C; Magal, N; Pras, E; Reznik-Wolf, H; Borochowitz, Z U; Davidov, B; Mor-Cohen, R; Baris, H N

    2015-02-01

    Huntington disease (HD), an autosomal dominant disorder involving HTT, is characterized by chorea, psychiatric illness and cognitive decline. Diagnosis and age of onset depend on the degree of expansion of the trinucleotide CAG repeat within the gene. The prevalence of HD is known for Europeans but has not been studied in the Israeli population. Between 2006 and 2011 we diagnosed in our adult genetics clinic ten HD probands, nine of whom were Caucasus Jews (CJ) (Azerbaijani), and one Ashkenazi Jewish. We performed haplotype analysis to look for evidence of a founder mutation, and found that of the nine CJ, eight shared the same haplotype that was compatible with the A1 haplogroup. We calculated the coalescence age of the mutation to be between 80 and 150 years. Ninety percent of our HD patients are CJ, as are 27% of the HD patients in Israel, although the CJ comprise only 1.4% of the Israeli population. Our findings suggest a higher prevalence of HD among CJ compared to the general Israeli population and are consistent with a recent founder mutation. We recommend a higher degree of suspicion for HD in CJ with subtle clinical findings. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  1. Of mice, rats and men: Revisiting the quinolinic acid hypothesis of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwarcz, Robert; Guidetti, Paolo; Sathyasaikumar, Korrapati V; Muchowski, Paul J

    2010-02-09

    The neurodegenerative disease Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by an expanded polyglutamine (polyQ) tract in the protein huntingtin (htt). Although the gene encoding htt was identified and cloned more than 15 years ago, and in spite of impressive efforts to unravel the mechanism(s) by which mutant htt induces nerve cell death, these studies have so far not led to a good understanding of pathophysiology or an effective therapy. Set against a historical background, we review data supporting the idea that metabolites of the kynurenine pathway (KP) of tryptophan degradation provide a critical link between mutant htt and the pathophysiology of HD. New studies in HD brain and genetic model organisms suggest that the disease may in fact be causally related to early abnormalities in KP metabolism, favoring the formation of two neurotoxic metabolites, 3-hydroxykynurenine and quinolinic acid, over the related neuroprotective agent kynurenic acid. These findings not only link the excitotoxic hypothesis of HD pathology to an impairment of the KP but also define new drug targets and therefore have direct therapeutic implications. Thus, pharmacological normalization of the imbalance in brain KP metabolism may provide clinical benefits, which could be especially effective in early stages of the disease.

  2. Neural and mesenchymal stem cells in animal models of Huntington's disease: past experiences and future challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerkis, Irina; Haddad, Monica Santoro; Valverde, Cristiane Wenceslau; Glosman, Sabina

    2015-12-14

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an inherited disease that causes progressive nerve cell degeneration. It is triggered by a mutation in the HTT gene that strongly influences functional abilities and usually results in movement, cognitive and psychiatric disorders. HD is incurable, although treatments are available to help manage symptoms and to delay the physical, mental and behavioral declines associated with the condition. Stem cells are the essential building blocks of life, and play a crucial role in the genesis and development of all higher organisms. Ablative surgical procedures and fetal tissue cell transplantation, which are still experimental, demonstrate low rates of recovery in HD patients. Due to neuronal cell death caused by accumulation of the mutated huntingtin (mHTT) protein, it is unlikely that such brain damage can be treated solely by drug-based therapies. Stem cell-based therapies are important in order to reconstruct damaged brain areas in HD patients. These therapies have a dual role: stem cell paracrine action, stimulating local cell survival, and brain tissue regeneration through the production of new neurons from the intrinsic and likely from donor stem cells. This review summarizes current knowledge on neural stem/progenitor cell and mesenchymal stem cell transplantation, which has been carried out in several animal models of HD, discussing cell distribution, survival and differentiation after transplantation, as well as functional recovery and anatomic improvements associated with these approaches. We also discuss the usefulness of this information for future preclinical and clinical studies in HD.

  3. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors in cognitive impairment in Huntington's disease: A brief review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vattakatuchery, Joe John; Kurien, Renjith

    2013-09-22

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disease associated with cognitive deficits. Cognitive dysfunction may be present in the early stages of the disease, even before the onset of motor symptoms. The cognitive dysfunction includes executive dysfunction, psychomotor symptoms, visuospatial deficits, perceptual deficits, memory loss and difficulty learning new skills. Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors have shown good effect in the treatment of other types of dementia and it is postulated that it might delay cognitive decline in HD. We reviewed the evidence for Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors in the treatment of cognitive decline and dementia associated with Huntington's disease. We identified 6 articles that investigated the role of Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors for treatment of cognitive deficits in Huntington's disease. Following the review, the authors concluded that there is limited evidence for the use of Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors for cognitive impairment in HD.

  4. Phonatory Dysfunction as a Preclinical Symptom of Huntington Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlegel, Uwe; Hoffman, Rainer; Skodda, Sabine

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Although dysphonia has been shown to be a common sign of Huntington disease (HD), the extent of phonatory dysfunction in gene positive premanifest HD individuals remains unknown. The aim of the current study was to explore the possible occurrence of phonatory abnormalities in prodromal HD. Method Sustained vowel phonations were acquired from 28 premanifest HD individuals and 28 healthy controls of comparable age. Data were analysed acoustically for measures of several phonatory dimensions including airflow insufficiency, aperiodicity, irregular vibration of vocal folds, signal perturbations, increased noise, vocal tremor and articulation deficiency. A predictive model was built to find the best combination of acoustic features and estimate sensitivity/specificity for differentiation between premanifest HD subjects and controls. The extent of voice deficits according to a specific phonatory dimension was determined using statistical decision making theory. The results were correlated to global motor function, cognitive score, disease burden score and estimated years to disease onset. Results Measures of aperiodicity and increased noise were able to significantly differentiate between premanifest HD individuals and controls (p<0.01). The combination of these aspects of dysphonia led to a sensitivity of 91.5% and specificity of 79.2% to correctly distinguish speakers with premanifest HD from healthy individuals. Some form of disrupted phonatory function was revealed in 68% of our premanifest HD subjects, where 18% had one affected phonatory dimension and 50% showed impairment of two or more dimensions. A relationship between pitch control and cognitive score was also observed (r = −0.50, p = 0.007). Conclusions Phonatory abnormalities are detectable even the in premotor stages of HD. Speech investigation may have the potential to provide functional biomarkers of HD and could be included in future clinical trials and therapeutic interventions. PMID

  5. Guidelines for presymptomatic testing for Huntington's disease: past, present and future in France.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clément, S; Gargiulo, M; Feingold, J; Durr, A

    2015-01-01

    Huntington's disease was the first adult onset neurological disease for which presymptomatic genetic testing became possible. It served as a model for the approach which constituted a radical change in medical practice and provided an important framework for multi-step, multidisciplinary, counselling for at risk persons. We will review the historical context of guidelines and good clinical practices, the experiences of our team which covers more than 20 years of presymptomatic testing for Huntington's disease in France, and explore the impact of the new French legislation for the future of presymptomatic testing of diseases for which neither preventive measures nor curative treatments are yet available.

  6. Normal and mutant HTT interact to affect clinical severity and progression in Huntington disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aziz, N A; Jurgens, C K; Landwehrmeyer, G B;

    2009-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: Huntington disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the HD gene (HTT). We aimed to assess whether interaction between CAG repeat sizes in the mutant and normal allele could affect disease severity and progression. METHODS: Using...... with less severe symptoms and pathology. CONCLUSIONS: Increasing CAG repeat size in normal HTT diminishes the association between mutant CAG repeat size and disease severity and progression in Huntington disease. The underlying mechanism may involve interaction of the polyglutamine domains of normal...

  7. Brain Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    The brain is the control center of the body. It controls thoughts, memory, speech, and movement. It regulates the function of many organs. When the brain is healthy, it works quickly and automatically. However, ...

  8. Expanding the Spectrum of Genes Involved in Huntington Disease Using a Combined Clinical and Genetic Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariani, Louise-Laure; Tesson, Christelle; Charles, Perrine; Cazeneuve, Cécile; Hahn, Valérie; Youssov, Katia; Freeman, Leorah; Grabli, David; Roze, Emmanuel; Noël, Sandrine; Peuvion, Jean-Noel; Bachoud-Levi, Anne-Catherine; Brice, Alexis; Stevanin, Giovanni; Durr, Alexandra

    2016-09-01

    Huntington disease (HD), a prototypic monogenic disease, is caused by an expanded CAG repeat in the HTT gene exceeding 35 units. However, not all patients with an HD phenotype carry the pathological expansion in HTT, and the positive diagnosis rate is poor. To examine patients with HD phenotypes to determine the frequency of HD phenocopies with typical features of HD but without pathological CAG repeat expansions in HTT in an attempt to improve the positive diagnosis rate. Between January 1, 2004, and April 18, 2011, a total of 226 consecutive index patients with an HD phenotype were referred to specialized clinics of the French National Huntington Disease Reference Centre for Rare Diseases. They underwent detailed clinical examination and follow-up, as well as neuropsychological, biological, imaging, and genetic examinations. Nucleotide expansions in JPH3, ATN1, TBP, and C9ORF72 and mutations in PRNP, as well as acquired conditions commonly causing HD phenocopies, were first screened. The diagnostic rate of HD phenocopies and frequency of other etiologies using deep clinical phenotyping and next generation sequencing. Our goal was to improve the genetic diagnosis of HD phenocopies and to identify new HD related genes. One hundred ninety-eight patients carried a pathological CAG repeat expansion in HTT, whereas 28 patients (12 women and 16 men) did not. Huntington disease phenocopies accounted for 12.4%, and their mean (SD) age at onset was similar to those of the HD-HTT group (47.3 [12.7] years vs 50.3 [16.4] years, P = .29). We first identified 3 patients with abnormal CTG expansions in JPH3, a fourth patient with an antiphospholipid syndrome, and a fifth patient with B12 avitaminosis. A custom-made 63-gene panel was generated based on clinical evolution and exome sequencing. It contained genes responsible for HD phenocopies and other neurodegenerative conditions, as well as candidate genes from exome sequencing in 3 index cases with imaging features of brain

  9. Chromosome substitution strain assessment of a Huntington's disease modifier locus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramos, Eliana Marisa; Kovalenko, Marina; Guide, Jolene R; St Claire, Jason; Gillis, Tammy; Mysore, Jayalakshmi S; Sequeiros, Jorge; Wheeler, Vanessa C; Alonso, Isabel; MacDonald, Marcy E

    2015-04-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a dominant neurodegenerative disorder that is due to expansion of an unstable HTT CAG repeat for which genome-wide genetic scans are now revealing chromosome regions that contain disease-modifying genes. We have explored a novel human-mouse cross-species functional prioritisation approach, by evaluating the HD modifier 6q23-24 linkage interval. This unbiased strategy employs C57BL/6J (B6J) Hdh(Q111) knock-in mice, replicates of the HD mutation, and the C57BL/6J-chr10(A/J)/NaJ chromosome substitution strain (CSS10), in which only chromosome 10 (chr10), in synteny with the human 6q23-24 region, is derived from the A/J (AJ) strain. Crosses were performed to assess the possibility of dominantly acting chr10 AJ-B6J variants of strong effect that may modulate CAG-dependent Hdh(Q111/+) phenotypes. Testing of F1 progeny confirmed that a single AJ chromosome had a significant effect on the rate of body weight gain and in Hdh(Q111) mice the AJ chromosome was associated subtle alterations in somatic CAG instability in the liver and the formation of intra-nuclear inclusions, as well as DARPP-32 levels, in the striatum. These findings in relatively small cohorts are suggestive of dominant chr10 AJ-B6 variants that may modify effects of the CAG expansion, and encourage a larger study with CSS10 and sub-strains. This cross-species approach may therefore be suited to functional in vivo prioritisation of genomic regions harbouring genes that can modify the early effects of the HD mutation.

  10. Protective Effect of Antioxidants on Neuronal Dysfunction and Plasticity in Huntington's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velusamy, Thirunavukkarasu; Panneerselvam, Archana S.; Purushottam, Meera; Anusuyadevi, Muthuswamy; Pal, Pramod Kumar; Jain, Sanjeev; Essa, Musthafa Mohamed

    2017-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is characterised by movement disorders, cognitive impairments, and psychiatric problems. The abnormal generation of reactive oxygen species and the resulting oxidative stress-induced mitochondrial damage in neurons upon CAG mutations in the HTT gene have been hypothesized as the contributing factors of neurodegeneration in HD. The potential use of antioxidants against free radical toxicity has been an emerging field in the management of ageing and many neurodegenerative disorders. Neural stem cells derived adult neurogenesis represents the regenerative capacity of the adult brain. The process of adult neurogenesis has been implicated in the cognitive functions of the brain and is highly modulated positively by different factors including antioxidants. The supportive role of antioxidants to reduce the severity of HD via promoting the functional neurogenesis and neuroprotection in the pathological adult brain has great promise. This review comprehends the recent studies describing the therapeutic roles of antioxidants in HD and other neurologic disorders and highlights the scope of using antioxidants to promote adult neurogenesis in HD. It also advocates a new line of research to delineate the mechanisms by which antioxidants promote adult neurogenesis in HD. PMID:28168008

  11. Protective Effect of Antioxidants on Neuronal Dysfunction and Plasticity in Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velusamy, Thirunavukkarasu; Panneerselvam, Archana S; Purushottam, Meera; Anusuyadevi, Muthuswamy; Pal, Pramod Kumar; Jain, Sanjeev; Essa, Musthafa Mohamed; Guillemin, Gilles J; Kandasamy, Mahesh

    2017-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is characterised by movement disorders, cognitive impairments, and psychiatric problems. The abnormal generation of reactive oxygen species and the resulting oxidative stress-induced mitochondrial damage in neurons upon CAG mutations in the HTT gene have been hypothesized as the contributing factors of neurodegeneration in HD. The potential use of antioxidants against free radical toxicity has been an emerging field in the management of ageing and many neurodegenerative disorders. Neural stem cells derived adult neurogenesis represents the regenerative capacity of the adult brain. The process of adult neurogenesis has been implicated in the cognitive functions of the brain and is highly modulated positively by different factors including antioxidants. The supportive role of antioxidants to reduce the severity of HD via promoting the functional neurogenesis and neuroprotection in the pathological adult brain has great promise. This review comprehends the recent studies describing the therapeutic roles of antioxidants in HD and other neurologic disorders and highlights the scope of using antioxidants to promote adult neurogenesis in HD. It also advocates a new line of research to delineate the mechanisms by which antioxidants promote adult neurogenesis in HD.

  12. Impaired Levels of Gangliosides in the Corpus Callosum of Huntington Disease Animal Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Pardo, Alba; Amico, Enrico; Maglione, Vittorio

    2016-01-01

    Huntington Disease (HD) is a genetic neurodegenerative disorder characterized by broad types of cellular and molecular dysfunctions that may affect both neuronal and non-neuronal cell populations. Among all the molecular mechanisms underlying the complex pathogenesis of the disease, alteration of sphingolipids has been identified as one of the most important determinants in the last years. In the present study, besides the purpose of further confirming the evidence of perturbed metabolism of gangliosides GM1, GD1a, and GT1b the most abundant cerebral glycosphingolipids, in the striatal and cortical tissues of HD transgenic mice, we aimed to test the hypothesis that abnormal levels of these lipids may be found also in the corpus callosum white matter, a ganglioside-enriched brain region described being dysfunctional early in the disease. Semi-quantitative analysis of GM1, GD1a, and GT1b content indicated that ganglioside metabolism is a common feature in two different HD animal models (YAC128 and R6/2 mice) and importantly, demonstrated that levels of these gangliosides were significantly reduced in the corpus callosum white matter of both models starting from the early stages of the disease. Besides corroborating the evidence of aberrant ganglioside metabolism in HD, here, we found out for the first time, that ganglioside dysfunction is an early event in HD models and it may potentially represent a critical molecular change influencing the pathogenesis of the disease. PMID:27766070

  13. Operant-based instrumental learning for analysis of genetically modified models of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trueman, R C; Dunnett, S B; Brooks, S P

    2012-06-01

    Huntington's disease is the result of an expanded CAG repeat in the gene that codes for the protein huntingtin and results in a progressive sequelae of motor, cognitive and psychiatric symptoms. The development of genetically modified rodent models of Huntington's disease has led to the need for sensitive behavioural phenotyping. Operant tests for rodents have been developed that can determine the functional deficits in these genetically modified models, from motor, cognitive and emotional domains. The current review discusses tests that employ operant equipment, an automated and highly flexible method for testing rodents. Different operant paradigms are examined in relation to their relevance to Huntington's disease symptomology, as well as summarising research to date on genetic models with these tests.

  14. Prefrontal cortex white matter tracts in prodromal Huntington disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsui, Joy T.; Vaidya, Jatin G.; Wassermann, Demian; Kim, Regina Eunyoung; Magnotta, Vincent A.; Johnson, Hans J.; Paulsen, Jane S.

    2015-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is most widely known for its selective degeneration of striatal neurons but there is also growing evidence for white matter (WM) deterioration. The primary objective of this research was to conduct a large-scale analysis using multisite diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) tractography data to quantify diffusivity properties along major prefrontal cortex WM tracts in prodromal HD. Fifteen international sites participating in the PREDICT-HD study collected imaging and neuropsychological data on gene-positive HD participants without a clinical diagnosis (i.e. prodromal) and gene-negative control participants. The anatomical prefrontal WM tracts of the corpus callosum (PFCC), anterior thalamic radiations (ATR), inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi (IFO), and uncinate fasciculi (UNC) were identified using streamline tractography of DWI. Within each of these tracts, tensor scalars for fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity, radial diffusivity, and axial diffusivity coefficients were calculated. We divided prodromal HD subjects into three CAG-age product (CAP) groups having Low, Medium, or High probabilities of onset indexed by genetic exposure. We observed significant differences in WM properties for each of the four anatomical tracts for the High CAP group in comparison to controls. Additionally, the Medium CAP group presented differences in the ATR and IFO in comparison to controls. Furthermore, WM alterations in the PFCC, ATR, and IFO showed robust associations with neuropsychological measures of executive functioning. These results suggest long-range tracts essential for cross-region information transfer show early vulnerability in HD and may explain cognitive problems often present in the prodromal stage. PMID:26179962

  15. What do we know about Late Onset Huntington's Disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaganti, Sai S; McCusker, Elizabeth A; Loy, Clement T

    2017-01-01

    Although the typical age of onset for Huntington's disease (HD) is in the fourth decade, between 4.4-11.5% of individuals with HD have a late onset (over 60 years of age). Diagnosis of Late onset HD (LoHD) can be missed, due to the perceived low likelihood of HD in the over 60-year-olds. To review the epidemiology, genotype and phenotype of LoHD. We systematically searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and Web of Science (inception-November 2016). Web of Science was then used to search for papers citing identified studies. Content experts were consulted for any additional studies. We included all studies reporting the clinical phenotype of LoHD for more than one participant. 20 studies were identified from a potential list of 1243. Among Caucasian HD cohorts, 4.4-11.5% of individuals have LoHD, and this proportion may be increasing. Proportion of LoHD without a positive family history ranges from 3-68%. 94.4% of reported cases of LoHD had CAG repeat lengths of ≤44. Motor manifestations are the commonest initial presentation, although 29.2% presented with non-motor manifestations as the first clinical feature in one case series. Individuals with LoHD may have slower progression of illness. Cognitive impairment rather than chorea may be the major source of disability in this group. LoHD represents a substantial proportion of new diagnoses of HD and has some unique features. Further characterization of this population will aid clinicians in diagnosis.

  16. Prenatal testing in Huntington disease: after the test, choices recommence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouchghoul, Hanane; Clément, Stéphane-Françoise; Vauthier, Danièle; Cazeneuve, Cécile; Noel, Sandrine; Dommergues, Marc; Héron, Delphine; Nizard, Jacky; Gargiulo, Marcela; Durr, Alexandra

    2016-11-01

    The objective of this study was (1) to determine the impact of prenatal diagnosis (PND) for Huntington disease (HD) on subsequent reproductive choices and family structure; and (2) to assess whether children born after PND were informed of their genetic status. Out of 354 presymptomatic carriers of HD gene mutation, aged 18-45 years, 61 couples requested 101 PNDs. Fifty-four women, 29 female carriers and 25 spouses of male carriers, accepted to be interviewed (0.6-16.3 years after the last PND, median 6.5 years) on their obstetrical history and information given to children born after PND. Women were willing to undergo two or more PNDs with a final success rate of 75%. Reproductive decisions differed depending on the outcome of the first PND. If favourable, 62% couples decided against another pregnancy and 10% chose to have an untested child. If unfavourable, 83% decided for another pregnancy (P<0.01), and the majority (87%) re-entered the PND procedure. In contrast, after a second PND, only 37% asked for a PND and 30% chose to have an untested child. Thirty-three percent had both, tested and untested children. Among children born after PND, 10 years and older, 75% were informed of their genetic status. The decision to prevent transmission of the HD mutation is made anew with each pregnancy. Couples may need more psychological support after PND and pre-counselling sessions should take into account the effect of the outcome of a first PND on subsequent reproductive choices.

  17. A 24-Hour Study of the Hypothalamo-Pituitary Axes in Huntington's Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eirini Kalliolia

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder characterised by motor, cognitive and psychiatric disturbances. Patients exhibit other symptoms including sleep and mood disturbances, muscle atrophy and weight loss which may be linked to hypothalamic pathology and dysfunction of hypothalamo-pituitary axes.We studied neuroendocrine profiles of corticotropic, somatotropic and gonadotropic hypothalamo-pituitary axes hormones over a 24-hour period in controlled environment in 15 healthy controls, 14 premanifest and 13 stage II/III Huntington's disease subjects. We also quantified fasting levels of vasopressin, oestradiol, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, thyroid stimulating hormone, free triiodothyronine, free total thyroxine, prolactin, adrenaline and noradrenaline. Somatotropic axis hormones, growth hormone releasing hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1 and insulin-like factor binding protein-3 were quantified at 06:00 (fasting, 15:00 and 23:00. A battery of clinical tests, including neurological rating and function scales were performed.24-hour concentrations of adrenocorticotropic hormone, cortisol, luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone did not differ significantly between the Huntington's disease group and controls. Daytime growth hormone secretion was similar in control and Huntington's disease subjects. Stage II/III Huntington's disease subjects had lower concentration of post-sleep growth hormone pulse and higher insulin-like growth factor-1:growth hormone ratio which did not reach significance. In Huntington's disease subjects, baseline levels of hypothalamo-pituitary axis hormones measured did not significantly differ from those of healthy controls.The relatively small subject group means that the study may not detect subtle perturbations in hormone concentrations. A targeted study of the somatotropic axis in larger cohorts may be warranted. However, the lack of significant results despite many

  18. Motor, emotional and cognitive deficits in adult BACHD mice : A model for Huntington's disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abada, Yah-se K.; Schreiber, Rudy; Ellenbroek, Bart

    2013-01-01

    Rationale: Huntington's disease (HD) is characterized by progressive motor dysfunction, emotional disturbances and cognitive deficits. It is a genetic disease caused by an elongation of the polyglutamine repeats in the huntingtin gene. Whereas HD is a complex disorder, previous studies in mice model

  19. Genetic landmarks through philately: Woodrow Wilson 'Woody' Guthrie and Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Innes, A M; Chudley, A E

    2002-04-01

    This brief account of Woody Guthrie is instructive to clinical geneticists. It tells the story of one famous man's understanding of, and struggle with, Huntington's disease. The philatelic illustration depicts Woody Guthrie playing his guitar in the years before advancement of the disease.

  20. Evidence for Deficits on Different Components of Theory of Mind in Huntington's Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Allain, P.; Havel-Thomassin, V.; Verny, C.; Gohier, B.; Lancelot, C.; Besnard, J.; Fasotti, L.; Gall, D. le

    2011-01-01

    Objective: The main aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Huntington's disease (HD) on cognitive and affective Theory of Mind (ToM) abilities. The relation of ToM performance and executive functions was also examined. Method: Eighteen HD patients, early in the course of the disease,

  1. NMDA receptor gene variations as modifiers in Huntington disease: a replication study

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    Several candidate modifier genes which, in addition to the pathogenic CAG repeat expansion, influence the age at onset (AO) in Huntington disease (HD) have already been described. The aim of this study was to replicate association of variations in the N-methyl D-aspartate receptor subtype genes GRIN2A and GRIN2B in the “REGISTRY” cohort from the European Huntington Disease Network (EHDN). The analyses did replicate the association reported between the GRIN2A rs2650427 variation and AO in the ...

  2. A double blind trial of sulpiride in Huntington's disease and tardive dyskinesia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, N; Marsden, C D

    1984-08-01

    Eleven patients with Huntington's disease and nine patients with tardive dyskinesia participated in a randomised double-blind crossover trial of sulpiride (as sole antidopaminergic therapy) versus placebo. Although functional improvement was not seen in Huntington's disease patients, sulpiride reduced movement count and total dyskinesia score in both conditions. Sulpiride differs pharmacologically in several respects from conventional neuroleptics, and has not been convincingly shown to cause tardive dyskinesia. Among currently available treatments, it may therefore be considered a drug of choice for treatment of tardive dyskinesia.

  3. Cerebral neurotransmission in huntington's disease and wilson's disease; Zerebrale Neurotransmission bei Chorea Huntington und Morbus Wilson

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barthel, H.; Sabri, O. [Klinik und Poliklinik fuer Nuklearmedizin, Univ. Leipzig (Germany)

    2002-09-01

    Huntington's disease and Wilson's disease are hereditary disorders with different neuropsychiatric symptoms. In both cases, these symptoms are mainly attributed to functional alterations of neurons, which are located in the basal ganglia. According deficits have been found by investigating the dopaminergic neurotransmission with different PET and SPECT tracers. For both diseases, these deficits revealed to concordantly involve the pre- and postsynaptic compartment. Apart from the dopaminergic system, more recent studies showed alterations of other neurotransmitter systems, like the serotonergic, GABA-ergic and opioide system. Except for scientific studies, nuclear medicine imaging is not regularly required for primary diagnosis of both disorders. In the case of Huntington's disease, however, imaging can be helpful for differential diagnosis to other diseases with similar initial symptoms and to determine the organic manifestation of the gene defect. In addition, neurotransmitter imaging with radiortracers could gain more relevance in the future in supporting decisions on specific treatments or for therapy monitoring in both diseases. (orig.) [German] Bei der Chorea Huntington und dem Morbus Wilson handelt es sich um erbliche Erkrankungen mit unterschiedlicher neuropsychiatrischer Symptomatik, welche im Wesentlichen auf Funktionsstoerungen von im Basalganglienbereich lokalisierten Neuronen zurueckgefuehrt werden. Untersuchungen der dopaminergen Neurotransmission mit verschiedenen PET- und SPECT-Radiopharmaka ergaben dementsprechende Defizite, welche fuer beide Erkrankungen konkordant das prae- und postsynaptische Kompartment betrafen. Juengere Studien deuten darueber hinaus auf Stoerungen anderer Neurotransmitter-Systeme, wie z.B. des serotonergen, GABAergen und Opioid-Systems, hin. Ausserhalb von wissenschaftlichen Fragestellungen ist die nuklearmedizinische Bildgebung bei beiden Erkrankungen in der Primaerdiagnostik eher selten erforderlich. Im

  4. Potential biomarkers to follow the progression and treatment response of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Disatnik, Marie-Hélène; Joshi, Amit U; Saw, Nay L; Shamloo, Mehrdad; Leavitt, Blair R; Qi, Xin; Mochly-Rosen, Daria

    2016-11-14

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a rare genetic disease caused by expanded polyglutamine repeats in the huntingtin protein resulting in selective neuronal loss. Although genetic testing readily identifies those who will be affected, current pharmacological treatments do not prevent or slow down disease progression. A major challenge is the slow clinical progression and the inability to biopsy the affected tissue, the brain, making it difficult to design short and effective proof of concept clinical trials to assess treatment benefit. In this study, we focus on identifying peripheral biomarkers that correlate with the progression of the disease and treatment benefit. We recently developed an inhibitor of pathological mitochondrial fragmentation, P110, to inhibit neurotoxicity in HD. Changes in levels of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and inflammation markers in plasma, a product of DNA oxidation in urine, mutant huntingtin aggregates, and 4-hydroxynonenal adducts in muscle and skin tissues were all noted in HD R6/2 mice relative to wild-type mice. Importantly, P110 treatment effectively reduced the levels of these biomarkers. Finally, abnormal levels of mtDNA were also found in plasma of HD patients relative to control subjects. Therefore, we identified several potential peripheral biomarkers as candidates to assess HD progression and the benefit of intervention for future clinical trials.

  5. Huntington disease: a single-gene degenerative disorder of the striatum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nopoulos, Peggy C

    2016-03-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant, neurodegenerative disorder with a primary etiology of striatal pathology. The Huntingtin gene (HTT) has a unique feature of a DNA trinucleotide (triplet) repeat, with repeat length ranging from 10 to 35 in the normal population. Repeat lengths between 36 and 39 cause HD at reduced penetrance (some will get the disease, others won't) and when expanded to 40 or more repeats (mHTT), causes HD at full penetrance (every person with this length or beyond will definitely develop the disease). The symptoms of HD may be motor, cognitive, and psychiatric, and are consistent with the pathophysiology of frontostriatal circuitry malfunction. Expressed ubiquitously and throughout the entire life cycle (development through adulthood), mHTT causes initial dysfunction and eventual death of a specific cell population within the striatum. Although all areas of the brain are eventually affected, the primary pathology of the disease is regionally specific. As a single-gene disorder, HD has the distinction of having the potential of treatment that is aimed directly at the known pathogenic mechanism by gene silencing, providing hope for neuroprotection and ultimately, prevention.

  6. Did the “Woman in the Attic” in Jane Eyre Have Huntington Disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coon, Elizabeth A.; Hassan, Anhar

    2015-01-01

    Background References to neurologic disorders are frequently found in fictional literature and may precede description in the medical literature. Aim Our aim was to compare Charlotte Brontë’s depiction of Bertha Mason in Jane Eyre to the tenets set forth in George Huntington’s original essay “On chorea” with the hypothesis that Mason was displaying features of Huntington disease. Results Charlotte Brontë’s 1847 Victorian novel Jane Eyre features the character Bertha Mason, who is portrayed with a progressive psychiatric illness, violent movements, and possible cognitive decline. Similar to Huntington’s tenets, Mason has a disorder with a strong family history suggestive of autosomal dominant inheritance with onset in adulthood, and culminating in suicide. Conclusion Brontë’s character had features of Huntington disease as originally described by Huntington. Brontë’s keen characterization may have increased awareness of treatment of neuropsychiatric patients in the Victorian era. PMID:26273542

  7. Striatal hypometabolism in premanifest and manifest Huntington's disease patients

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lopez-Mora, Diego Alfonso; Camacho, Valle; Fernandez, Alejandro; Montes, Alberto; Carrio, Ignasi [Autonomous University of Barcelona, Nuclear Medicine Department, Hospital Sant Pau, Barcelona (Spain); Perez-Perez, Jesus; Martinez-Horta, Sauel; Kulisevsky, Jaime [Autonomous University of Barcelona, Movement Disorders Unit, Neurology Department, Hospital Sant Pau, Barcelona (Spain); Sampedro, Frederic [University of Barcelona, Barcelona (Spain); Lozano-Martinez, Gloria Andrea; Gomez-Anson, Beatriz [Autonomous University of Barcelona, Neuroradiology, Radiology Department, Hospital Sant Pau, Barcelona (Spain)

    2016-11-15

    To assess metabolic changes in cerebral {sup 18}F-FDG PET/CT in premanifest and manifest Huntington's disease (HD) subjects compared to a control group and to correlate {sup 18}F-FDG uptake patterns with different disease stages. Thirty-three gene-expanded carriers (Eight males; mean age: 43 y/o; CAG > 39) were prospectively included. Based on the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale Total Motor Score and the Total Functional Capacity, subjects were classified as premanifest (preHD = 15) and manifest (mHD = 18). Estimated time disease-onset was calculated using the Langbehn formula, which allowed classifying preHD as far-to (preHD-A) and close-to (PreHD-B) disease-onset. Eighteen properly matched participants were included as a control group (CG). All subjects underwent brain {sup 18}F-FDG PET/CT and MRI. {sup 18}F-FDG PET/CT were initially assessed by two nuclear medicine physicians identifying qualitative metabolic changes in the striatum. Quantitative analysis was performed using SPM8 with gray matter atrophy correction using the BPM toolbox. Visual analysis showed a marked striatal hypometabolism in mHD. A normal striatal distribution of {sup 18}F-FDG uptake was observed for most of the preHD subjects. Quantitative analysis showed a significant striatal hypometabolism in mHD subjects compared to CG (p < 0.001 uncorrected, k = 50 voxels). In both preHD groups we observed a significant striatal hypometabolism with respect to CG (p < 0.001 uncorrected, k = 50 voxels). In mHD subjects we observed a significant striatal hypometabolism with respect to both preHD groups (p < 0.001 uncorrected, k = 50 voxels). {sup 18}F-FDG PET/CT might be a helpful tool to identify patterns of glucose metabolism in the striatum across the stages of HD and might be relevant in assessing the clinical status of gene-expanded HD carriers due to the fact that dysfunctional glucose metabolism begins at early preHD stages of the disease. {sup 18}F-FDG PET/CT appears as a

  8. Overexpression and nuclear accumulation of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase in a transgenic mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senatorov, Vladimir V; Charles, Vinod; Reddy, P H; Tagle, Dan A; Chuang, De-Maw

    2003-03-01

    Huntington's disease is due to an expansion of CAG repeats in the huntingtin gene. Huntingtin interacts with several proteins including glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). We performed immunohistochemical analysis of GAPDH expression in the brains of transgenic mice carrying the huntingtin gene with 89 CAG repeats. In all wild-type animals examined, GAPDH was evenly distributed among the different cell types throughout the brain. In contrast, the majority of transgenic mice showed GAPDH overexpression, with the most prominent GAPDH changes observed in the caudate putamen, globus pallidus, neocortex, and hippocampal formation. Double staining for NeuN and GFAP revealed that GAPDH overexpression occurred exclusively in neurons. Nissl staining analysis of the neocortex and caudate putamen indicated 24 and 27% of cell loss in transgenic mice, respectively. Subcellular fluorescence analysis revealed a predominant increase in GAPDH immunostaining in the nucleus. Thus, we conclude that mutation of huntingtin is associated with GAPDH overexpression and nuclear translocation in discrete populations of brain neurons.

  9. Linking white matter and deep gray matter alterations in premanifest Huntington disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreia V. Faria

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Huntington disease (HD is a fatal progressive neurodegenerative disorder for which only symptomatic treatment is available. A better understanding of the pathology, and identification of biomarkers will facilitate the development of disease-modifying treatments. HD is potentially a good model of a neurodegenerative disease for development of biomarkers because it is an autosomal-dominant disease with complete penetrance, caused by a single gene mutation, in which the neurodegenerative process can be assessed many years before onset of signs and symptoms of manifest disease. Previous MRI studies have detected abnormalities in gray and white matter starting in premanifest stages. However, the understanding of how these abnormalities are related, both in time and space, is still incomplete. In this study, we combined deep gray matter shape diffeomorphometry and white matter DTI analysis in order to provide a better mapping of pathology in the deep gray matter and subcortical white matter in premanifest HD. We used 296 MRI scans from the PREDICT-HD database. Atrophy in the deep gray matter, thalamus, hippocampus, and nucleus accumbens was analyzed by surface based morphometry, and while white matter abnormalities were analyzed in (i regions of interest surrounding these structures, using (ii tractography-based analysis, and using (iii whole brain atlas-based analysis. We detected atrophy in the deep gray matter, particularly in putamen, from early premanifest stages. The atrophy was greater both in extent and effect size in cases with longer exposure to the effects of the CAG expansion mutation (as assessed by greater CAP-scores, and preceded detectible abnormalities in the white matter. Near the predicted onset of manifest HD, the MD increase was widespread, with highest indices in the deep and posterior white matter. This type of in-vivo macroscopic mapping of HD brain abnormalities can potentially indicate when and where therapeutics could be

  10. Linking white matter and deep gray matter alterations in premanifest Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faria, Andreia V; Ratnanather, J Tilak; Tward, Daniel J; Lee, David Soobin; van den Noort, Frieda; Wu, Dan; Brown, Timothy; Johnson, Hans; Paulsen, Jane S; Ross, Christopher A; Younes, Laurent; Miller, Michael I

    2016-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is a fatal progressive neurodegenerative disorder for which only symptomatic treatment is available. A better understanding of the pathology, and identification of biomarkers will facilitate the development of disease-modifying treatments. HD is potentially a good model of a neurodegenerative disease for development of biomarkers because it is an autosomal-dominant disease with complete penetrance, caused by a single gene mutation, in which the neurodegenerative process can be assessed many years before onset of signs and symptoms of manifest disease. Previous MRI studies have detected abnormalities in gray and white matter starting in premanifest stages. However, the understanding of how these abnormalities are related, both in time and space, is still incomplete. In this study, we combined deep gray matter shape diffeomorphometry and white matter DTI analysis in order to provide a better mapping of pathology in the deep gray matter and subcortical white matter in premanifest HD. We used 296 MRI scans from the PREDICT-HD database. Atrophy in the deep gray matter, thalamus, hippocampus, and nucleus accumbens was analyzed by surface based morphometry, and while white matter abnormalities were analyzed in (i) regions of interest surrounding these structures, using (ii) tractography-based analysis, and using (iii) whole brain atlas-based analysis. We detected atrophy in the deep gray matter, particularly in putamen, from early premanifest stages. The atrophy was greater both in extent and effect size in cases with longer exposure to the effects of the CAG expansion mutation (as assessed by greater CAP-scores), and preceded detectible abnormalities in the white matter. Near the predicted onset of manifest HD, the MD increase was widespread, with highest indices in the deep and posterior white matter. This type of in-vivo macroscopic mapping of HD brain abnormalities can potentially indicate when and where therapeutics could be targeted to delay

  11. Atypical Huntington's disease with the clinical presentation of behavioural variant of frontotemporal dementia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutovsky, Stanislav; Smolek, Tomas; Alafuzoff, Irina; Blaho, Andrej; Parrak, Vojtech; Turcani, Peter; Palkovic, Michal; Petrovic, Robert; Novak, Michal; Zilka, Norbert

    2016-12-01

    Huntington's disease is an incurable, adult-onset, autosomal dominant inherited disorder caused by an expanded trinucleotide repeat (CAG). In this study, we describe a Huntington's disease patient displaying clinical symptoms of the behavioural variant of frontotemporal dementia in the absence of tremor and ataxia. The clinical onset was at the age of 36 years and the disease progressed slowly (18 years). Genetic testing revealed expanded trinucleotide CAG repeats in the Huntingtin gene, together with a Glu318Gly polymorphism in presenilin 1. Neuropathological assessment revealed extensive amyloid β (Aβ) aggregates in all cortical regions. No inclusions displaying hyperphosphorylated tau or phosphorylated transactive response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP43) were found. A high number of p62 (sequestosome 1) immunopositive intranuclear inclusions were seen mainly in the cortex, while subcortical areas were affected to a lesser extent. Confocal microscopy revealed that the majority of p62 intranuclear lesions co-localised with the fused-in-sarcoma protein (FUS) immunostaining. The morphology of the inclusions resembled intranuclear aggregates in Huntington's disease. The presented proband suffered from Huntington's disease showed atypical distribution of FUS positive intranuclear aggregates in the cortical areas with concomitant Alzheimer's disease pathology.

  12. Junctophilin 3 (JPH3) expansion mutations causing Huntington disease like 2 (HDL2) are common in South African patients with African ancestry and a Huntington disease phenotype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krause, Amanda; Mitchell, Claire; Essop, Fahmida; Tager, Susan; Temlett, James; Stevanin, Giovanni; Ross, Christopher; Rudnicki, Dobrila; Margolis, Russell

    2015-10-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is a progressive autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by abnormal movements, cognitive decline, and psychiatric symptoms, caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the huntingtin (HTT) gene on chromosome 4p. A CAG/CTG repeat expansion in the junctophilin-3 (JPH3) gene on chromosome 16q24.2 causes a Huntington disease-like phenotype (HDL2). All patients to date with HDL2 have some African ancestry. The present study aimed to characterize the genetic basis of the Huntington disease phenotype in South Africans and to investigate the possible origin of the JPH3 mutation. In a sample of unrelated South African individuals referred for diagnostic HD testing, 62% (106/171) of white patients compared to only 36% (47/130) of black patients had an expansion in HTT. However, 15% (20/130) of black South African patients and no white patients (0/171) had an expansion in JPH3, confirming the diagnosis of Huntington disease like 2 (HDL2). Individuals with HDL2 share many clinical features with individuals with HD and are clinically indistinguishable in many cases, although the average age of onset and diagnosis in HDL2 is 5 years later than HD and individual clinical features may be more prominent. HDL2 mutations contribute significantly to the HD phenotype in South Africans with African ancestry. JPH3 haplotype studies in 31 families, mainly from South Africa and North America, provide evidence for a founder mutation and support a common African origin for all HDL2 patients. Molecular testing in individuals with an HD phenotype and African ancestry should include testing routinely for JPH3 mutations.

  13. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells in Huntington's Disease Research: Progress and Opportunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tousley, Adelaide; Kegel-Gleason, Kimberly B

    2016-06-28

    Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from controls and patients can act as a starting point for in vitro differentiation into human brain cells for discovery of novel targets and treatments for human disease without the same ethical limitations posed by embryonic stem cells. Numerous groups have successfully produced and characterized Huntington's disease (HD) iPSCs with different CAG repeat lengths, including cells from patients with one or two HD alleles. HD iPSCs and the neural cell types derived from them recapitulate some disease phenotypes found in both human patients and animal models. Although these discoveries are encouraging, the use of iPSCs for cutting edge and reproducible research has been limited due to some of the inherent problems with cell lines and the technological differences in the way laboratories use them. The goal of this review is to summarize the current state of the HD iPSC field, and to highlight some of the issues that need to be addressed to maximize their potential as research tools.

  14. Use of human stem cells in Huntington disease modeling and translational research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golas, Monika M; Sander, Bjoern

    2016-04-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is a devastating neurological disorder caused by an extended CAG repeat in exon 1 of the gene that encodes the huntingtin (HTT) protein. HD pathology involves a loss of striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) and progressive neurodegeneration affects the striatum and other brain regions. Because HTT is involved in multiple cellular processes, the molecular mechanisms of HD pathogenesis should be investigated on multiple levels. On the cellular level, in vitro stem cell models, such as induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from HD patients and HD embryonic stem cells (ESCs), have yielded progress. Approaches to differentiate functional MSNs from ESCs, iPSCs, and neural stem/progenitor cells (NSCs/NPCs) have been established, enabling MSN differentiation to be studied and disease phenotypes to be recapitulated. Isolation of target stem cells and precursor cells may also provide a resource for grafting. In animal models, transplantation of striatal precursors differentiated in vitro to the striatum has been reported to improve disease phenotype. Initial clinical trials examining intrastriatal transplantation of fetal neural tissue suggest a more favorable clinical course in a subset of HD patients, though shortcomings persist. Here, we review recent advances in the development of cellular HD models and approaches aimed at cell regeneration with human stem cells. We also describe how genome editing tools could be used to correct the HTT mutation in patient-specific stem cells. Finally, we discuss the potential and the remaining challenges of stem cell-based approaches in HD research and therapy development.

  15. Continuous and periodic expansion of CAG repeats in Huntington's disease R6/1 mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Møllersen, Linda; Rowe, Alexander D; Larsen, Elisabeth; Rognes, Torbjørn; Klungland, Arne

    2010-12-09

    Huntington's disease (HD) is one of several neurodegenerative disorders caused by expansion of CAG repeats in a coding gene. Somatic CAG expansion rates in HD vary between organs, and the greatest instability is observed in the brain, correlating with neuropathology. The fundamental mechanisms of somatic CAG repeat instability are poorly understood, but locally formed secondary DNA structures generated during replication and/or repair are believed to underlie triplet repeat expansion. Recent studies in HD mice have demonstrated that mismatch repair (MMR) and base excision repair (BER) proteins are expansion inducing components in brain tissues. This study was designed to simultaneously investigate the rates and modes of expansion in different tissues of HD R6/1 mice in order to further understand the expansion mechanisms in vivo. We demonstrate continuous small expansions in most somatic tissues (exemplified by tail), which bear the signature of many short, probably single-repeat expansions and contractions occurring over time. In contrast, striatum and cortex display a dramatic--and apparently irreversible--periodic expansion. Expansion profiles displaying this kind of periodicity in the expansion process have not previously been reported. These in vivo findings imply that mechanistically distinct expansion processes occur in different tissues.

  16. Continuous and periodic expansion of CAG repeats in Huntington's disease R6/1 mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda Møllersen

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is one of several neurodegenerative disorders caused by expansion of CAG repeats in a coding gene. Somatic CAG expansion rates in HD vary between organs, and the greatest instability is observed in the brain, correlating with neuropathology. The fundamental mechanisms of somatic CAG repeat instability are poorly understood, but locally formed secondary DNA structures generated during replication and/or repair are believed to underlie triplet repeat expansion. Recent studies in HD mice have demonstrated that mismatch repair (MMR and base excision repair (BER proteins are expansion inducing components in brain tissues. This study was designed to simultaneously investigate the rates and modes of expansion in different tissues of HD R6/1 mice in order to further understand the expansion mechanisms in vivo. We demonstrate continuous small expansions in most somatic tissues (exemplified by tail, which bear the signature of many short, probably single-repeat expansions and contractions occurring over time. In contrast, striatum and cortex display a dramatic--and apparently irreversible--periodic expansion. Expansion profiles displaying this kind of periodicity in the expansion process have not previously been reported. These in vivo findings imply that mechanistically distinct expansion processes occur in different tissues.

  17. Pharmacological benefits of agomelatine and vanillin in experimental model of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gupta, Surbhi; Sharma, Bhupesh

    2014-07-01

    Huntington's disease (HD), a devastating neurodegenerative disorder, is characterized by progressive motor dysfunction, emotional disturbances, dementia, weight loss, depression. Melatonin receptors are widely expressed in the central nervous system. Vanilloids are also valuable as pharmacological tools for investigating neurobiology. This study investigates the utility of agomelatine, a dual agonist of MT₁ and MT₂ melatonin receptor as well as vanillin, a selective agonist of TRPV₁ (vanilloid receptor) in 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NPA) induced experimental HD in rats. Locomotor activity (Actophotometer), motor coordination (Rota rod) and learning-memory (Morris water maze) were assessed. Brain striatum oxidative stress (lipid peroxidation-MDA, glutathione-GSH, superoxide dismutase-SOD and catalase-CAT), nitrosative stress (nitrite/nitrate) and mitochondrial enzyme complexes (I, II and IV) were also assessed. 3-NPA has induced weight loss, impaired locomotion, motor coordination as well as learning and memory. It has induced brain striatum oxidative as well as nitrosative stress, cholinergic dysfunction and impaired mitochondrial enzyme complexes (I, II and IV). Tetrabenazine (TBZ) was used as positive control. Treatment with agomelatine and vanillin and TBZ has significantly attenuated 3-NPA induced weight loss, impaired locomotion, motor coordination and learning-memory as well as biochemical impairments. Thus, agomelatine and vanillin exhibit protective effects against 3-NPA induced HD. It may be concluded that agomelatine and vanillin may provide benefits in HD.

  18. [The White man's burden - a case study caught between bipolar affective disorder and Huntington's disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nowidi, K; Kunisch, R; Bouna-Pyrrou, P; Meißner, D; Hennig-Fast, K; Weindl, A; Förster, S; Neuhann, T M; Falkai, P; Berger, M; Musil, R

    2013-06-01

    We report upon a case of a 55 year old patient with a bipolar affective disorder, presenting herself with a depressive symptomatology in addition to a severe motor perturbation. The main emphasis upon admittance was perfecting and improving her latest medication. Four weeks prior to her stay at our clinic a thorough neurological examination had taken place in terms of an invalidity pension trial which did not result in any diagnostic findings. Therefore a neurological disease seemed at first highly unlikely. Even though the prior testing was negative, the ensuing neurological examination at our clinic resulted in movement disorders very much indicative of Huntington's Disease. A detailed investigation in regards to the particular family history of the patient was positive for Huntington's Disease. However, whether the patient's mother had also been a genetic carrier of Huntington's Disease was still unknown at the time the patient was admitted to our clinic. It was nevertheless discovered that her mother had also suffered from a bipolar affective disorder. A genetic testing that followed the neurological examination of the patient proved positive for Huntington's Disease. Neuro-imaging resulted in a bicaudate-index of 2.4 (the critical value is 1.8). In a clinical psychological test battery the ensuing results were highly uncommon for patients with solely a bipolar affective disorder people. Under the medical regimen of Quetiapine, Citalopram and Tiaprid the patient's mood could be stabilized and there was some improvement of her motor pertubation.

  19. Dantrolene is neuroprotective in Huntington's disease transgenic mouse model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Xi

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Huntington's disease (HD is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by a polyglutamine expansion in the Huntingtin protein which results in the selective degeneration of striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs. Our group has previously demonstrated that calcium (Ca2+ signaling is abnormal in MSNs from the yeast artificial chromosome transgenic mouse model of HD (YAC128. Moreover, we demonstrated that deranged intracellular Ca2+ signaling sensitizes YAC128 MSNs to glutamate-induced excitotoxicity when compared to wild type (WT MSNs. In previous studies we also observed abnormal neuronal Ca2+ signaling in neurons from spinocerebellar ataxia 2 (SCA2 and spinocerebellar ataxia 3 (SCA3 mouse models and demonstrated that treatment with dantrolene, a ryanodine receptor antagonist and clinically relevant Ca2+ signaling stabilizer, was neuroprotective in experiments with these mouse models. The aim of the current study was to evaluate potential beneficial effects of dantrolene in experiments with YAC128 HD mouse model. Results The application of caffeine and glutamate resulted in increased Ca2+ release from intracellular stores in YAC128 MSN cultures when compared to WT MSN cultures. Pre-treatment with dantrolene protected YAC128 MSNs from glutamate excitotoxicty, with an effective concentration of 100 nM and above. Feeding dantrolene (5 mg/kg twice a week to YAC128 mice between 2 months and 11.5 months of age resulted in significantly improved performance in the beam-walking and gait-walking assays. Neuropathological analysis revealed that long-term dantrolene feeding to YAC128 mice significantly reduced the loss of NeuN-positive striatal neurons and reduced formation of Httexp nuclear aggregates. Conclusions Our results support the hypothesis that deranged Ca2+ signaling plays an important role in HD pathology. Our data also implicate the RyanRs as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of HD and demonstrate that Ryan

  20. Deficient Rab11 activity underlies glucose hypometabolism in primary neurons of Huntington's disease mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Xueyi, E-mail: xli12@partners.org [Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA 02129 (United States); Valencia, Antonio; McClory, Hollis; Sapp, Ellen; Kegel, Kimberly B. [Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA 02129 (United States); DiFiglia, Marian, E-mail: difiglia@helix.mgh.harvard.edu [Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA 02129 (United States)

    2012-05-18

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Primary Huntington's disease neurons are impaired in taking up glucose. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Rab11 modulates glucose uptake in neurons. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Increasing Rab11 activity attenuates the glucose uptake defect in disease neurons. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We provide a novel mechanism for glucose hypometabolism in Huntington's disease. -- Abstract: Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the huntingtin gene. Positron emission tomography studies have revealed a decline in glucose metabolism in the brain of patients with HD by a mechanism that has not been established. We examined glucose utilization in embryonic primary cortical neurons of wild-type (WT) and HD knock-in mice, which have 140 CAG repeats inserted in the endogenous mouse huntingtin gene (HD{sup 140Q/140Q}). Primary HD{sup 140Q/140Q} cortical neurons took up significantly less glucose than did WT neurons. Expression of permanently inactive and permanently active forms of Rab11 correspondingly altered glucose uptake in WT neurons, suggesting that normal activity of Rab11 is needed for neuronal uptake of glucose. It is known that Rab11 activity is diminished in HD{sup 140Q/140Q} neurons. Expression of dominant active Rab11 to enhance the activity of Rab11 normalized glucose uptake in HD{sup 140Q/140Q} neurons. These results suggest that deficient activity of Rab11 is a novel mechanism for glucose hypometabolism in HD.

  1. Striatal pre-enkephalin overexpression improves Huntington's disease symptoms in the R6/2 mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphanie Bissonnette

    Full Text Available The reduction of pre-enkephalin (pENK mRNA expression might be an early sign of striatal neuronal dysfunction in Huntington's disease (HD, due to mutated huntingtin protein. Indeed, striatopallidal (pENK-containing neurodegeneration occurs at earlier stage of the disease, compare to the loss of striatonigral neurons. However, no data are available about the functional role of striatal pENK in HD. According to the neuroprotective properties of opioids that have been recognized recently, the objective of this study was to investigate whether striatal overexpression of pENK at early stage of HD can improve motor dysfunction, and/or reduce striatal neuronal loss in the R6/2 transgenic mouse model of HD. To achieve this goal recombinant adeno-associated-virus (rAAV2-containing green fluorescence protein (GFP-pENK was injected bilaterally in the striatum of R6/2 mice at 5 weeks old to overexpress opioid peptide pENK. Striatal injection of rAAV2-GFP was used as a control. Different behavioral tests were carried out before and/or after striatal injections of rAAV2. The animals were euthanized at 10 weeks old. Our results demonstrate that striatal overexpression of pENK had beneficial effects on behavioral symptoms of HD in R6/2 by: delaying the onset of decline in muscular force; reduction of clasping; improvement of fast motor activity, short-term memory and recognition; as well as normalization of anxiety-like behavior. The improvement of behavioral dysfunction in R6/2 mice having received rAAV2-GFP-pENK associated with upregulation of striatal pENK mRNA; the increased level of enkephalin peptide in the striatum, globus pallidus and substantia nigra; as well as the slight increase in the number of striatal neurons compared with other groups of R6/2. Accordingly, we suggest that at early stage of HD upregulation of striatal enkephalin might play a key role at attenuating illness symptoms.

  2. Striatal pre-enkephalin overexpression improves Huntington's disease symptoms in the R6/2 mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bissonnette, Stéphanie; Vaillancourt, Mylène; Hébert, Sébastien S; Drolet, Guy; Samadi, Pershia

    2013-01-01

    The reduction of pre-enkephalin (pENK) mRNA expression might be an early sign of striatal neuronal dysfunction in Huntington's disease (HD), due to mutated huntingtin protein. Indeed, striatopallidal (pENK-containing) neurodegeneration occurs at earlier stage of the disease, compare to the loss of striatonigral neurons. However, no data are available about the functional role of striatal pENK in HD. According to the neuroprotective properties of opioids that have been recognized recently, the objective of this study was to investigate whether striatal overexpression of pENK at early stage of HD can improve motor dysfunction, and/or reduce striatal neuronal loss in the R6/2 transgenic mouse model of HD. To achieve this goal recombinant adeno-associated-virus (rAAV2)-containing green fluorescence protein (GFP)-pENK was injected bilaterally in the striatum of R6/2 mice at 5 weeks old to overexpress opioid peptide pENK. Striatal injection of rAAV2-GFP was used as a control. Different behavioral tests were carried out before and/or after striatal injections of rAAV2. The animals were euthanized at 10 weeks old. Our results demonstrate that striatal overexpression of pENK had beneficial effects on behavioral symptoms of HD in R6/2 by: delaying the onset of decline in muscular force; reduction of clasping; improvement of fast motor activity, short-term memory and recognition; as well as normalization of anxiety-like behavior. The improvement of behavioral dysfunction in R6/2 mice having received rAAV2-GFP-pENK associated with upregulation of striatal pENK mRNA; the increased level of enkephalin peptide in the striatum, globus pallidus and substantia nigra; as well as the slight increase in the number of striatal neurons compared with other groups of R6/2. Accordingly, we suggest that at early stage of HD upregulation of striatal enkephalin might play a key role at attenuating illness symptoms.

  3. Incidence and mutation rates of Huntington's disease in Spain: experience of 9 years of direct genetic testing

    OpenAIRE

    Ramos-Arroyo, M; Moreno, S.; Valiente, A.

    2005-01-01

    Background: Prior to the discovery of the Huntington's disease (HD) mutation, the prevalence, incidence, and new mutation rates for this disease were based on the presence of progressive choreic movements and a positive family history.

  4. Crime in Huntington's disease: a study of registered offences among patients, relatives, and controls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jensen, P; Fenger, K; Bolwig, T G; Sørensen, S A

    1998-10-01

    Criminal behaviour has been described as a problem in Huntington's disease, but systematic studies including control groups have been missing. Based on information from Danish registries, rates and types of crime committed by patients with Huntington's disease, non-affected relatives, and controls were studied. 99 males and 151 females with Huntington's disease were compared with 334 non-affected first degree relatives (134 men and 200 women) and to matched control groups as to frequencies and types of registered criminal convictions. Due to specific age criteria, the group of relatives comprised only about 9% carriers of the gene coding for Huntington's disease. In male patients, crime rates were significantly increased compared with first degree relatives (RR=2.8) and controls (RR=2.3). All types of crime occurred more often in male patients; more severe crimes (murder, rape, arson) were not reported. Rates of drunken driving were significantly increased compared with relatives (RR=3.8) and controls (RR=7.1). Crime rates were neither increased in female patients nor in male and female first degree relatives. The results indicate increased prevalence of criminal behaviour in males carrying the gene for Huntington's disease. The crimes committed seem to be of relatively minor severity and are probably closely linked to the personality changes often seen as a result of the disease process, although depressive reactions to the disease, with secondary alcohol misuse, may also play a part. Environmental and familial factors shared by patients and non-affected at risk persons seem to be of less aetiological importance.

  5. Expanded CAG repeats in the murine Huntington's disease gene increases neuronal differentiation of embryonic and neural stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorincz, Matthew T; Zawistowski, Virginia A

    2009-01-01

    Huntington's disease is an uncommon autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by expanded polyglutamine repeats. Increased neurogenesis was demonstrated recently in Huntington's disease post-mortem samples. In this manuscript, neuronally differentiated embryonic stem cells with expanded CAG repeats in the murine Huntington's disease homologue and neural progenitors isolated from the subventricular zone of an accurate mouse Huntington's disease were examined for increased neurogenesis. Embryonic stem cells with expanded CAG repeats in the murine Huntington's disease homologue were demonstrated to undergo facilitated differentiation first into neural progenitors, then into more mature neurons. Neural progenitor cells isolated from the subventricular zone of a Huntington's disease knock-in animal displayed increased production of neural progenitors and increased neurogenesis. These findings suggested that neuronally differentiating embryonic stem cells with expanded CAG repeats is a reasonable system to identify factors responsible for increased neurogenesis in Huntington's disease. Expression profiling analysis comparing neuronally differentiating embryonic stem cells with expanded CAG repeats to neuronally differentiating embryonic stem cells without expanded CAG repeats identified transcripts involved in development and transcriptional regulation as factors possibly mediating increased neurogenesis in response to expanded CAG repeats.

  6. Change in PDE10 across early Huntington disease assessed by [18F]MNI-659 and PET imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, David S; Jennings, Danna L; Barret, Olivier; Tamagnan, Gilles D; Carroll, Vincent M; Caillé, Fabien; Alagille, David; Morley, Thomas J; Papin, Caroline; Seibyl, John P; Marek, Kenneth L

    2016-02-23

    To evaluate whether striatal [(18)F]MNI-659 PET imaging of phosphodiesterase 10A (PDE10) serves as a sensitive and reliable biomarker of striatal neurodegeneration in a longitudinal cohort of participants with early Huntington disease (HD). A cohort of participants with HD, including both participants premanifest or manifest with motor signs, underwent clinical assessments, genetic determination, and 2 [(18)F]MNI-659 PET imaging sessions approximately 1 year apart. Eleven healthy control (HC) participants underwent clinical assessments and [(18)F]MNI-659 PET imaging once. Striatal binding potentials (BPnd) were estimated for brain regions of interest, specifically within the basal ganglia, and compared between baseline and follow-up imaging. Clinical measures of HD severity were assessed at each visit. Eight participants with HD (6 manifest; 2 premanifest) participated. Of those with manifest HD, all had relatively early stage disease (stage 1, n = 2; stage 2, n = 4) and a Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale total motor score disease progression. © 2016 American Academy of Neurology.

  7. Increased prothrombin, apolipoprotein A-IV, and haptoglobin in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with Huntington's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yen-Chu Huang

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is a progressive neurodegenerative disease caused by an unstable CAG trinucleotide repeat expansion. The need for biomarkers of onset and progression in HD is imperative, since currently reliable outcome measures are lacking. We used two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry to analyze the proteome profiles in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF of 6 pairs of HD patients and controls. Prothrombin, apolipoprotein A-IV (Apo A-IV and haptoglobin were elevated in CSF of the HD patients in comparison with the controls. We used western blot as a semi-quantified measurement for prothrombin and Apo A-IV, as well as enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA for measurement of haptoglobin, in 9 HD patients and 9 controls. The albumin quotient (Qalb, a marker of blood-brain barrier (BBB function, was not different between the HD patients and the controls. The ratios of CSF prothrombin/albumin (prothrombin/Alb and Apo A-IV/albumin (Apo A-IV/Alb, and haptoglobin level were significantly elevated in HD. The ratio of CSF prothrombin/Alb significantly correlated with the disease severity assessed by Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS. The results implicate that increased CSF prothrombin, Apo A-IV, and haptoglobin may be involved in pathogenesis of HD and may serve as potential biomarkers for HD.

  8. Not on the Face Alone: Perception of Contextualized Face Expressions in Huntington's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aviezer, Hillel; Bentin, Shlomo; Hassin, Ran R.; Meschino, Wendy S.; Kennedy, Jeanne; Grewal, Sonya; Esmail, Sherali; Cohen, Sharon; Moscovitch, Morris

    2009-01-01

    Numerous studies have demonstrated that Huntington's disease mutation-carriers have deficient explicit recognition of isolated facial expressions. There are no studies, however, which have investigated the recognition of facial expressions embedded within an emotional body and scene context. Real life facial expressions are typically embedded in…

  9. Wishes for the end of life in Huntington's Disease. Observations and reflections, initiated in The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Booij, Suzanne José

    2014-01-01

    Euthanasia and physicia-assisted suicide are possible in case of Huntington's Disease, also based on an advance directive. Requirements to make this possible are a sound and possibly longstanding physician-patient relationship. Secondly a thorough knowlegde of the requirements of due care is necessa

  10. Language Deficits in Pre-Symptomatic Huntington's Disease: Evidence from Hungarian

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemeth, Dezso; Dye, Cristina D.; Sefcsik, Tamas; Janacsek, Karolina; Turi, Zsolt; Londe, Zsuzsa; Klivenyi, Peter; Kincses, Zsigmond Tamas; Szabo, Nikoletta; Vecsei, Laszlo; Ullman, Michael T.

    2012-01-01

    A limited number of studies have investigated language in Huntington's disease (HD). These have generally reported abnormalities in rule-governed (grammatical) aspects of language, in both syntax and morphology. Several studies of verbal inflectional morphology in English and French have reported evidence of over-active rule processing, such as…

  11. In vivo evidence of cerebellar atrophy and cerebral white matter loss in Huntington disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fennema-Notestine, C; Archibald, S.L.; Jacobsen, M.W.;

    2004-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the regional pattern of white matter and cerebellar changes, as well as subcortical and cortical changes, in Huntington disease (HD) using morphometric analyses of structural MRI. METHODS: Fifteen individuals with HD and 22 controls were studied; groups were similar in a...

  12. Huntington disease in the South African population occurs on diverse and ethnically distinct genetic haplotypes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baine, Fiona K.; Kay, Chris; Ketelaar, Maria E.; Collins, Jennifer A.; Semaka, Alicia; Doty, Crystal N.; Krause, Amanda; Greenberg, L. Jacquie; Hayden, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder resulting from the expansion of a CAG trinucleotide repeat in the huntingtin (HTT) gene. Worldwide prevalence varies geographically with the highest figures reported in populations of European ancestry. HD in South Africa has been reported in C

  13. β-Defensin genomic copy number does not influence the age of onset in Huntington's Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vittori, Angelica; Orth, Michael; Roos, Raymund A C; Outeiro, Tiago F; Giorgini, Flaviano; Hollox, Edward J; Kremer, Berry

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by the abnormal expansion of a CAG triplet repeat tract in the huntingtin gene. While the length of this CAG expansion is the major determinant of the age of onset (AO), other genetic factors have also b

  14. NMDA receptor gene variations as modifiers in Huntington disease : a replication study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Saft, Carsten; Epplen, Jörg T; Wieczorek, Stefan; Landwehrmeyer, G Bernhard; Roos, Raymund A C; de Yebenes, Justo Garcia; Dose, Matthias; Tabrizi, Sarah J; Craufurd, David; Arning, Larissa; Kremer, Berry

    2011-01-01

    Several candidate modifier genes which, in addition to the pathogenic CAG repeat expansion, influence the age at onset (AO) in Huntington disease (HD) have already been described. The aim of this study was to replicate association of variations in the N-methyl D-aspartate receptor subtype genes GRIN

  15. Striatal dopamine D2 receptors, metabolism, and volume in preclinical Huntington disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Oostrom, JCH; Maguire, RP; Verschuuren-Bemelmans, CC; van der Duin, LV; Pruim, J; Roos, RAC; Leenders, KL

    2005-01-01

    Among 27 preclinical carriers of the Huntington disease mutation (PMC), the authors found normal striatal values for MRI volumetry in 88% and for fluorodesoxyglucose PET metabolic index in 67%. Raclopride PET binding potential (RAC-BP) was decreased in 50% and correlated with increases in the produc

  16. Late-onset Huntington disease with intermediate CAG repeats: true or false?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groen, J.L.; de Bie, R.M.A.; Foncke, E.M.J.; Roos, R.A.C.; Leenders, K.L.; Tijssen, M.A.J.

    2010-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with an expanded CAG trinucleotide repeat length in the huntingtin gene. 'Intermediate alleles' with 27 to 35 CAG repeats generally do not cause HD but are unstable upon germ-line transmission. Insights in CAG repeat mosaicism and en

  17. Late-onset Huntington disease with intermediate CAG repeats : true or false?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groen, Justus L.; de Bie, Rob M. A.; Foncke, Elisabeth M. J.; Roos, Raymund A. C.; Leenders, Klaus L.; Tijssen, Marina A. J.

    2010-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with an expanded CAG trinucleotide repeat length in the huntingtin gene. 'Intermediate alleles' with 27 to 35 CAG repeats generally do not cause HD but are unstable upon germ-line transmission. Insights in CAG repeat mosaicism and en

  18. Psychological Aspects of Genetic Counselling: A Review of the Experience with Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    ten Kroode, Herman F. J.; van't Spijker, Adriaan

    1997-01-01

    Psychological consequences of presymptomatic DNA-testing for Huntington's disease are reviewed. Both carriers and noncarriers experience emotional reactions after disclosure of their test results; however, no long-term adverse emotional consequences have been revealed. Consequences for the family are discussed. Future research should include…

  19. How do partners find out about the risk of Huntington's disease in couple relationships?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrest Keenan, Karen; Simpson, Sheila A; Miedzybrodzka, Zosia; Alexander, David A; Semper, June

    2013-06-01

    Whilst a growing body of work has explored family communication about Huntington's disease and how at-risk individuals learn about their risk, the experience of telling a partner and partners' experiences of finding out about this potentially devastating hereditary illness have received little attention. This study describes the experiences of partners in finding out about Huntington's disease and any impact on couple's relationships/marriages. We undertook a thematic analysis of qualitative interviews which explored the dynamics of partners' marriages after predictive testing and partners' views of genetic counseling. A main theme from partners' accounts was how they found out about their spouse's risk of Huntington's disease and the impact this had on marital relations. The analysis revealed four types of disclosure experiences: (1) marital secrets; (2) alerting, but not telling; (3) knowing and seeing; (4) marital ignorance. Our findings demonstrate that partners' experiences of (non)disclosure about the risk of HD within marriages is an important factor which contributes to couples' coping or marital problems. Exploring how spouses found out about their partner's risk of HD will illuminate issues about a couple's past and future patterns of communication and their coping strategies. A practical and ethical implication is the extent to which genetic counselors should inform partners about the course and nature of Huntington's disease when a partner is the support person for the individual being tested.

  20. Examination of Huntington's disease with atypical clinical features in a Bangladeshi family tree.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Mamun, Md Mahfuz; Sarker, Suprovath Kumar; Qadri, Syeda Kashfi; Shirin, Tahmina; Mohammad, Quazi Deen; LaRocque, Regina; Karlsson, Elinor K; Saha, Narayan; Asaduzzaman, Muhammad; Qadri, Firdausi; Mannoor, Md Kaiissar

    2016-12-01

    Atypical manifestation of Huntington's disease (HD) could inform ongoing research into HD genetic modifiers not present in the primarily European populations studied to date. This work demonstrates that expanding HD genetic testing into under-resourced healthcare settings can benefit both local communities and ongoing research into HD etiology and new therapies.

  1. Prenatal testing for Huntington's disease in the Netherlands from 1998 to 2008

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Rij, M. C.; Gans, P. A. M. de Koning; Aalfs, C. M.; Elting, M.; Ippel, P. F.; Maat-Kievit, J. A.; Vermeer, S.; Verschuuren-Bemelmans, C. C.; van Belzen, M. J.; Belfroid, R. D. M.; Losekoot, M.; Geraedts, J. P. M.; Roos, R. A. C.; Tibben, A.; de Die-Smulders, C. E. M.; Bijlsma, E.

    2014-01-01

    This study aims to give an overview of the number of prenatal tests for Huntington's disease (HD), test results, and pregnancy outcomes in the Netherlands between 1998 and 2008 and to compare them with available data from the period 1987 to 1997. A total of 126 couples underwent prenatal diagnosis (

  2. Psychological Aspects of Genetic Counselling: A Review of the Experience with Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    ten Kroode, Herman F. J.; van't Spijker, Adriaan

    1997-01-01

    Psychological consequences of presymptomatic DNA-testing for Huntington's disease are reviewed. Both carriers and noncarriers experience emotional reactions after disclosure of their test results; however, no long-term adverse emotional consequences have been revealed. Consequences for the family are discussed. Future research should include…

  3. Predicting Prognosis of Psychosis in Huntington's Disease: Case Report and Review of Literature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kar, Sujita Kumar; Shahi, Mohit Kumar; Tripathi, Adarsh; Sharma, Praveen Kumar

    2017-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is rare variant of progressive neurodegenerative disorder which follows an autosomal dominant pattern. Psychiatric comorbidities are not uncommon with HD. Mood disorder, cognitive disturbances, anxiety disorders, and psychosis are the psychiatric comorbidities reported with HD. We report here a case of HD, where psychosis developed during illness. Prognosis of psychosis in HD is emphasized in this report with review of literature.

  4. Huntington's disease: a review of the literature on prevalence and treatment of neuropsychiatric phenomena.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naarding, P.; Kremer, H.P.H.; Zitman, F.G.

    2001-01-01

    A review was made of the literature on Huntington's disease, including the clinical neurology, recent advances in pathophysiology and genetic mechanisms and psychopathology. It can be concluded that research on the latter is scarce, although the subject is relevant because of the co-occurrence of ps

  5. Type 2 transglutaminase in Huntington's disease: A double-edged sword with clinical potential

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P.G. Mastroberardino (Pier); M. Piacentini

    2010-01-01

    textabstractHuntington's disease (HD) is a dominant genetic neurodegenerative disorder. The pathology affects principally neurons in the basal ganglia circuits and terminates invariably in death. There is compelling necessity for safe and effective therapeutic strategies to arrest, or even retard th

  6. 4p16.3 haplotype modifying age at onset of Huntington disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nørremølle, A; Budtz-Jørgensen, E; Fenger, K

    2009-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is caused by an expanded CAG repeat sequence in the HD gene. Although the age at onset is correlated to the CAG repeat length, this correlation only explains approximately half of the variation in onset age. Less variation between siblings indicates that the variation is, ...

  7. Using Talking Mats to Support Communication in Persons with Huntington's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferm, Ulrika; Sahlin, Anna; Sundin, Linda; Hartelius, Lena

    2010-01-01

    Background: Many individuals with Huntington's disease experience reduced functioning in cognition, language and communication. Talking Mats is a visually based low technological augmentative communication framework that supports communication in people with different cognitive and communicative disabilities. Aims: To evaluate Talking Mats as a…

  8. Functional Compensation of Motor Function in Pre-Symptomatic Huntington's Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kloppel, Stefan; Draganski, Bogdan; Siebner, Hartwig R.; Tabrizi, Sarah J.; Weiller, Cornelius; Frackowiak, Richard S. J.

    2009-01-01

    Involuntary choreiform movements are a clinical hallmark of Huntington's disease. Studies in clinically affected patients suggest a shift of motor activations to parietal cortices in response to progressive neurodegeneration. Here, we studied pre-symptomatic gene carriers to examine the compensatory mechanisms that underlie the phenomenon of…

  9. In vivo evidence of cerebellar atrophy and cerebral white matter loss in Huntington disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fennema-Notestine, C; Archibald, S.L.; Jacobsen, M.W.;

    2004-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the regional pattern of white matter and cerebellar changes, as well as subcortical and cortical changes, in Huntington disease (HD) using morphometric analyses of structural MRI. METHODS: Fifteen individuals with HD and 22 controls were studied; groups were similar in age...

  10. Reversal Learning and Associative Memory Impairments in a BACHD Rat Model for Huntington Disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abada, Yah-se K.; Nguyen, Huu Phuc; Ellenbroek, Bart; Schreiber, Rudy

    2013-01-01

    Chorea and psychiatric symptoms are hallmarks of Huntington disease (HD), a neurodegenerative disorder, genetically characterized by the presence of expanded CAG repeats (>35) in the HUNTINGTIN (HTT) gene. HD patients present psychiatric symptoms prior to the onset of motor symptoms and we recently

  11. In vivo evidence of cerebellar atrophy and cerebral white matter loss in Huntington disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fennema-Notestine, C; Archibald, S.L.; Jacobsen, M.W.

    2004-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To investigate the regional pattern of white matter and cerebellar changes, as well as subcortical and cortical changes, in Huntington disease (HD) using morphometric analyses of structural MRI. METHODS: Fifteen individuals with HD and 22 controls were studied; groups were similar in age...

  12. Huntington's disease: a review of the literature on prevalence and treatment of neuropsychiatric phenomena.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Naarding, P.; Kremer, H.P.H.; Zitman, F.G.

    2001-01-01

    A review was made of the literature on Huntington's disease, including the clinical neurology, recent advances in pathophysiology and genetic mechanisms and psychopathology. It can be concluded that research on the latter is scarce, although the subject is relevant because of the co-occurrence of

  13. Wishes for the end of life in Huntington's Disease. Observations and reflections, initiated in The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Booij, Suzanne José

    2014-01-01

    Euthanasia and physicia-assisted suicide are possible in case of Huntington's Disease, also based on an advance directive. Requirements to make this possible are a sound and possibly longstanding physician-patient relationship. Secondly a thorough knowlegde of the requirements of due care is

  14. Language Deficits in Pre-Symptomatic Huntington's Disease: Evidence from Hungarian

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemeth, Dezso; Dye, Cristina D.; Sefcsik, Tamas; Janacsek, Karolina; Turi, Zsolt; Londe, Zsuzsa; Klivenyi, Peter; Kincses, Zsigmond Tamas; Szabo, Nikoletta; Vecsei, Laszlo; Ullman, Michael T.

    2012-01-01

    A limited number of studies have investigated language in Huntington's disease (HD). These have generally reported abnormalities in rule-governed (grammatical) aspects of language, in both syntax and morphology. Several studies of verbal inflectional morphology in English and French have reported evidence of over-active rule processing, such as…

  15. A clinical classification acknowledging neuropsychiatric and cognitive impairment in Huntingtons disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vinther-Jensen, Tua; Larsen, Ida U; Hjermind, Lena E

    2014-01-01

    BackgroundInvoluntary movements, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and cognitive impairment are all part of the symptom triad in Huntington¿s disease (HD). Despite the fact that neuropsychiatric symptoms and cognitive decline may be early manifestations of HD, the clinical diagnosis is conventionally...

  16. A new mutation for Huntington disease following maternal transmission of an intermediate allele

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Semaka, Alicia; Kay, Chris; Belfroid, Rene D. M.; Bijlsma, Emilia K.; Losekoot, Monique; van Langen, Irene M.; van Maarle, Merel C.; Oosterloo, Mayke; Hayden, Michael R.; van Belzen, Martine J.

    2015-01-01

    New mutations for Huntington disease (HD) originate from CAG repeat expansion of intermediate alleles (27-35 CAG). Expansions of such alleles into the pathological range (>= 36 CAG) have been exclusively observed in paternal transmission. We report the occurrence of a new mutation that defies the pa

  17. Wishes for the end of life in Huntington's Disease. Observations and reflections, initiated in The Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Booij, Suzanne José

    2014-01-01

    Euthanasia and physicia-assisted suicide are possible in case of Huntington's Disease, also based on an advance directive. Requirements to make this possible are a sound and possibly longstanding physician-patient relationship. Secondly a thorough knowlegde of the requirements of due care is necessa

  18. ENFERMEDAD DE HUNTINGTON: MODELOS EXPERIMENTALES Y PERSPECTIVAS TERAPÉUTICAS Huntington'disease: Experimentals Models and Therapeutic Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    TERESA SERRANO SÁNCHEZ

    Full Text Available La enfermedad de Huntington (EH es un trastorno degenerativo de Weiss de origen hereditario. Hasta el momento no existe un tratamiento efectivo para la enfermedad que inexorablemente después de transcurridos 15 a 20 años, evoluciona hacia incapacidad total o muerte. En este trabajo se revisan las características clínicas y morfológicas de la EH y los modelos experimentales más utilizados para su estudio tomando como fuente, artículos indexados en la base de datos Medline publicados en los últimos 20 años. Se valoran las ventajas y desventajas de estos modelos y su perspectiva para el desarrollo de ensayos clínicos. El consenso de lo reportado plantea que de los modelos tóxicos, los inducidos por neurotoxinas tales como ácido quinolínico parecen ser los más adecuados para reproducir las características neuropatológicas, y por otro lado los modelos genéticos contribuyen con más evidencias al conocimiento del origen etiológico de la enfermedad. Numerosos tratamientos han sido aplicados en el manejo de las manifestaciones clínicas que aparecen en EH, sin poder detener o disminuir las afectaciones que derivan de la pérdida neuronal. La sintomatología clínica ha sido posible reproducirla, al menos en parte, en animales de experimentación lo que ha permitido realizar ensayos terapéuticos. Desde el punto de vista de tratamiento, lo que más promisorio parece ser, la terapia celular con células provenientes de diferentes fuentes y dentro de ellas las no neurales, que implican menor censura ética y mayor factibilidad de obtención para la aplicación en los enfermos. Por otro lado el desarrollo de la tecnología del ARN de interferencia, emerge como una herramienta terapéutica potencial para el tratamiento de EH, así como para responder interrogantes básicas relacionadas con el desarrollo de la enfermedad.Huntington'disease (HD is a degenerative dysfunction of hereditary origin. Up to date there is not, an effective treatment

  19. Major Superficial White Matter Abnormalities in Huntington disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Owen Robert Phillips

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available BackgroundThe late myelinating superficial white matter at the juncture of the cortical gray and white matter comprising the intracortical myelin and short-range association fibers has not received attention in Huntington’s disease. It is an area of the brain that is late myelinating and is sensitive to both normal aging and neurodegenerative disease effects. Therefore, it may be sensitive to Huntington’s disease processes. MethodsStructural MRI data from 25 Pre-symptomatic subjects, 24 Huntington’s disease patients and 49 healthy controls was run through a cortical pattern-matching program. The surface corresponding to the white matter directly below the cortical gray matter was then extracted. Individual subject’s Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI data was aligned to their structural MRI data. Diffusivity values along the white matter surface were then sampled at each vertex point. DTI measures with high spatial resolution across the superficial white matter surface were then analyzed with the General Linear Model to test for the effects of disease. ResultsThere was an overall increase in the axial and radial diffusivity across much of the superficial white matter (p < 0.001 in Pre-symptomatic subjects compared to controls. In Huntington’s disease patients increased diffusivity covered essentially the whole brain (p < 0.001. Changes are correlated with genotype (CAG repeat number and disease burden (p < 0.001.ConclusionsThis study showed broad abnormalities in superficial white matter even before symptoms are present in Huntington’s disease. Since the superficial white matter has a unique microstructure and function these abnormalities suggest it plays an important role in the disease.

  20. Dysfunctional kynurenine pathway metabolism in the R6/2 mouse model of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sathyasaikumar, Korrapati V; Stachowski, Erin K; Amori, Laura; Guidetti, Paolo; Muchowski, Paul J; Schwarcz, Robert

    2010-06-01

    Elevated concentrations of neurotoxic metabolites of the kynurenine pathway (KP) of tryptophan degradation may play a causative role in Huntington's disease (HD). The brain levels of one of these compounds, 3-hydroxykynurenine (3-HK), are increased in both HD and several mouse models of the disease. In the present study, we examined this impairment in greater detail using the R6/2 mouse, a well-established animal model of HD. Initially, mutant and age-matched wild-type mice received an intrastriatal injection of (3)H-tryptophan to assess the acute, local de novo production of kynurenine, the immediate bioprecursor of 3-HK, in vivo. No effect of genotype was observed between 4 and 12 weeks of age. In contrast, intrastriatally applied (3)H-kynurenine resulted in significantly increased neosynthesis of (3)H-3-HK, but not other tritiated KP metabolites, in the R6/2 striatum. Subsequent ex vivo studies in striatal, cortical and cerebellar tissue revealed substantial increases in the activity of the biosynthetic enzyme of 3-HK, kynurenine 3-monooxygenase and significant reductions in the activity of its degradative enzyme, kynureninase, in HD mice starting at 4 weeks of age. Decreased kynureninase activity was most evident in the cortex and preceded the increase in kynurenine 3-monooxygenase activity. The activity of other KP enzymes showed no consistent brain abnormalities in the mutant mice. These findings suggest that impairments in its immediate metabolic enzymes jointly account for the abnormally high brain levels of 3-HK in the R6/2 model of HD.

  1. Null alleles at the Huntington disease locus: implications for diagnostics and CAG repeat instability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, L C; Hegde, M R; Nagappan, R; Faull, R L; Giles, J; Winship, I; Snow, K; Love, D R

    2000-01-01

    PCR amplification of the CAG repeat in exon 1 of the IT15 gene is routinely undertaken to confirm a clinical diagnosis of Huntington disease (HD) and to provide predictive testing for at-risk relatives of affected individuals. Our studies have detected null alleles on the chromosome carrying the expanded repeat in three of 91 apparently unrelated HD families. Sequence analysis of these alleles has revealed the same mutation event, leading to the juxtaposition of uninterrupted CAG and CCG repeats. These data suggest that a mutation-prone region exists in the IT15 gene bounded by the CAG and CCG repeats and that caution should be exercised in designing primers that anneal to the region bounded by these repeats. Two of the HD families segregated null alleles with expanded uninterrupted CAG repeats at the lower end of the zone of reduced penetrance. The expanded repeats are meiotically unstable in these families, although this instability is within a small range of repeat lengths. The haplotypes of the disease-causing chromosomes in these two families differ, only one of which is similar to that reported previously as being specific for new HD mutations. Finally, no apparent mitotic instability of the uninterrupted CAG repeat was observed in the brain of one of the HD individuals.

  2. Aggregation of scaffolding protein DISC1 dysregulates phosphodiesterase 4 in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, Motomasa; Ishizuka, Koko; Nekooki-Machida, Yoko; Endo, Ryo; Takashima, Noriko; Sasaki, Hideyuki; Komi, Yusuke; Gathercole, Amy; Huston, Elaine; Ishii, Kazuhiro; Hui, Kelvin Kai-Wan; Kurosawa, Masaru; Kim, Sun-Hong; Nukina, Nobuyuki; Takimoto, Eiki; Houslay, Miles D; Sawa, Akira

    2017-04-03

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a polyglutamine (polyQ) disease caused by aberrant expansion of the polyQ tract in Huntingtin (HTT). While motor impairment mediated by polyQ-expanded HTT has been intensively studied, molecular mechanisms for nonmotor symptoms in HD, such as psychiatric manifestations, remain elusive. Here we have demonstrated that HTT forms a ternary protein complex with the scaffolding protein DISC1 and cAMP-degrading phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) to regulate PDE4 activity. We observed pathological cross-seeding between DISC1 and mutant HTT aggregates in the brains of HD patients as well as in a murine model that recapitulates the polyQ pathology of HD (R6/2 mice). In R6/2 mice, consequent reductions in soluble DISC1 led to dysregulation of DISC1-PDE4 complexes, aberrantly increasing the activity of PDE4. Importantly, exogenous expression of a modified DISC1, which binds to PDE4 but not mutant HTT, normalized PDE4 activity and ameliorated anhedonia in the R6/2 mice. We propose that cross-seeding of mutant HTT and DISC1 and the resultant changes in PDE4 activity may underlie the pathology of a specific subset of mental manifestations of HD, which may provide an insight into molecular signaling in mental illness in general.

  3. Neuropsychological manifestations of the genetic mutation for Huntington's disease in presymptomatic individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandt, Jason; Shpritz, Barnett; Codori, Ann Marie; Margolis, Russell; Rosenblatt, Adam

    2002-11-01

    A triplet repeat (CAG) expansion mutation in the huntingtin gene on chromosome 4 is responsible for Huntington's disease (HD). Presymptomatic genetic testing for this mutation has identified clinically normal persons who are virtually certain to develop this dementing illness if they live a normal lifespan. The present study sought to determine whether these "mutation-positive" persons have impairments in cognitive functioning. Seventy-five mutation-positive persons did not differ from 128 mutation-negative persons on tests selected for their sensitivity to early-stage HD. Interestingly, however, those with the mutation viewed themselves as more likely to develop HD than did those without the mutation. Among mutation-positive subjects, having a longer CAG repeat mutation was likewise not associated with cognitive impairment. However, being closer to estimated disease onset (a product of repeat length and parent's age at onset) was associated with selected cognitive impairments. When viewed in light of previous studies showing atrophy of the caudate nucleus and putamen in mutation-carriers who are close to onset but not those far from onset, these results suggest that subtle changes in brain and behavior may be detected shortly before subjects with the HD mutation develop sufficient signs and symptoms for diagnosis. Conceptual and methodological problems associated with the search for presymptomatic cognitive and behavioral indicators of dementing illness are discussed.

  4. Protein oxidation in Huntington disease affects energy production and vitamin B6 metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorolla, Ma Alba; Rodríguez-Colman, Ma José; Tamarit, Jordi; Ortega, Zaira; Lucas, José J; Ferrer, Isidre; Ros, Joaquim; Cabiscol, Elisa

    2010-08-15

    Huntington disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder that initially affects the striatum and progressively the cortex. Oxidative stress in HD has been described as important to disease progression. In this study, protein carbonylation, used as a marker of protein oxidation, was analyzed in human brain striatum. A comparison of HD samples to matched controls identified 13 carbonylated proteins, including enzymes involved in the glycolytic pathway and mitochondrial proteins related to ATP production. Oxidation of the mitochondrial enzymes resulted in decreased catalytic activity, in good agreement with the energy deficiency observed in HD. We also found carbonylation of pyridoxal kinase and antiquitin 1, both involved in the metabolism of pyridoxal 5-phosphate, the active form of vitamin B6. The Tet/HD94 conditional mouse model allowed us to demonstrate that increased carbonylation in striatum is dependent on mutant huntingtin expression. As in humans, pyridoxal kinase showed decreased levels and was highly carbonylated in the gene-on mice; these modifications were reverted in the gene-off mice. We hypothesize that both pyridoxal kinase and antiquitin 1 oxidation could result in decreased pyridoxal 5-phosphate availability necessary as a cofactor in transaminations, synthesis of glutathione, and synthesis of GABA and dopamine, two neurotransmitters that play a key role in HD pathology.

  5. Huntingtin-lowering strategies in Huntington's disease: antisense oligonucleotides, small RNAs, and gene editing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronin, Neil; DiFiglia, Marian

    2014-09-15

    The idea to lower mutant huntingtin is especially appealing in Huntington's disease (HD). It is autosomal dominant, so that expression of the mutant allele causes the disease. Advances in RNA and gene regulation provide foundations for the huntingtin gene (both normal and mutant alleles) and possibly the mutant allele only. There is much preclinical animal work to support the concept of gene and RNA silencing, but, to date, no clinical studies have been attempted in HD. Preventing expression of mutant huntingtin protein is at the cusp for a human trial. Antisense oligonucleotides delivered to patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis have been well tolerated; small RNAs administered to rodent and nonhuman primate brain knocked down huntingtin messenger RNA (mRNA); short-hairpin complementary DNA of microRNAs can be expressed in adeno-associated virus to provide long-term silencing of huntingtin mRNA and protein. We expect that these approaches will be ready for clinical studies in the near future, once safety has been validated. Our understanding of gene editing-changing the huntingtin gene itself-is rapidly progressing. Harnessing our knowledge of transcription and translation should push scientific creativity to new and exciting advances that overcome the lethality of the mutant gene in HD. © 2014 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

  6. Dopamine imbalance in Huntington's disease: a mechanism for the lack of behavioral flexibility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jane Y.; Wang, Elizabeth A.; Cepeda, Carlos; Levine, Michael S.

    2013-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) plays an essential role in the control of coordinated movements. Alterations in DA balance in the striatum lead to pathological conditions such as Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases (HD). HD is a progressive, invariably fatal neurodegenerative disease caused by a genetic mutation producing an expansion of glutamine repeats and is characterized by abnormal dance-like movements (chorea). The principal pathology is the loss of striatal and cortical projection neurons. Changes in brain DA content and receptor number contribute to abnormal movements and cognitive deficits in HD. In particular, during the early hyperkinetic stage of HD, DA levels are increased whereas expression of DA receptors is reduced. In contrast, in the late akinetic stage, DA levels are significantly decreased and resemble those of a Parkinsonian state. Time-dependent changes in DA transmission parallel biphasic changes in glutamate synaptic transmission and may enhance alterations in glutamate receptor-mediated synaptic activity. In this review, we focus on neuronal electrophysiological mechanisms that may lead to some of the motor and cognitive symptoms of HD and how they relate to dysfunction in DA neurotransmission. Based on clinical and experimental findings, we propose that some of the behavioral alterations in HD, including reduced behavioral flexibility, may be caused by altered DA modulatory function. Thus, restoring DA balance alone or in conjunction with glutamate receptor antagonists could be a viable therapeutic approach. PMID:23847463

  7. The Complexity of Clinical Huntington's Disease: Developments in Molecular Genetics, Neuropathology and Neuroimaging Biomarkers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tippett, Lynette J; Waldvogel, Henry J; Snell, Russell G; Vonsattel, Jean-Paul; Young, Anne B; Faull, Richard L M

    2017-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder characterised by extensive neuronal loss in the striatum and cerebral cortex, and a triad of clinical symptoms affecting motor, cognitive/behavioural and mood functioning. The mutation causing HD is an expansion of a CAG tract in exon 1 of the HTT gene. This chapter provides a multifaceted overview of the clinical complexity of HD. We explore recent directions in molecular genetics including the identification of loci that are genetic modifiers of HD that could potentially reveal therapeutic targets beyond the HTT gene transcript and protein. The variability of clinical symptomatology in HD is considered alongside recent findings of variability in cellular and neurochemical changes in the striatum and cerebral cortex in human brain. We review evidence from structural neuroimaging methods of progressive changes of striatum, cerebral cortex and white matter in pre-symptomatic and symptomatic HD, with a particular focus on the potential identification of neuroimaging biomarkers that could be used to test promising disease-specific and modifying treatments. Finally we provide an overview of completed clinical trials in HD and future therapeutic developments.

  8. Advances in the understanding of early Huntington's disease using the functional imaging techniques of PET and SPET

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andrews, T.C.; Brooks, D.J. [MRC Cyclotron Unit, Imperial College School of Medicine, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Rd, London (United Kingdom)

    1998-12-01

    The functional imaging techniques of positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission tomography (SPET) have been used to study regional brain function in Huntington's disease (HD) in vivo. Reduced striatal glucose metabolism and dopamine receptor binding are evident in all symptomatic HD patients and in {approx}50% of asymptomatic adult mutation carriers. These characteristics correlate with clinical measures of disease severity. Reduced cortical glucose metabolism and dopamine receptor binding, together with reduced striatal and cortical opioid receptor binding, have also been demonstrated in symptomatic patients with HD. Repeat PET measures of striatal function have been used to monitor the progression of this disease objectively. In the future, functional imaging will provide a valuable way of assessing the efficacy of both fetal striatal cell implants and putative neuroprotective agents, such as nerve growth factors. (Copyright (c) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. All rights reserved.)

  9. Huntington's disease mouse models online: high-resolution MRI images with stereotaxic templates for computational neuroanatomy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J Sawiak

    Full Text Available Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI has proved to be an ideal modality for non-destructive and highly detailed assessment of structural morphology in biological tissues. Here we used MRI to make a dataset of ex vivo brains from two different rodent models of Huntington's disease (HD, the R6/2 line and the YAC 128 mouse. We are making the whole dataset (399 transgenic HD and wildtype (WT brains, from mice aged 9-80 weeks publicly available. These data will be useful, not only to investigators interested in the study of HD, but also to researchers of computational neuroanatomy who may not have access to such large datasets from mouse models. Here we demonstrate a number of uses of such data, for example to produce maps of grey and white matter and cortical thickness. As an example of how the library might provide insights in mouse models of HD, we calculated whole brain grey matter volumes across different age groups with different numbers of cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG repeats in a fragment of the gene responsible for HD in humans. (The R6/2 dataset was obtained from an allelic series of R6/2 mice carrying a range of CAG repeat lengths between 109 and 464. This analysis revealed different trajectories for each fragment length. In particular there was a gradient of decreasing pathology with longer CAG repeat lengths, reflecting our previous findings with behavioural and histological studies. There will be no constraints placed on the use of the datasets included here. The original data will be easily and permanently accessible via the University of Cambridge data repository (http://www.dspace.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/243361.

  10. PARP-1 Inhibition Is Neuroprotective in the R6/2 Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonella Cardinale

    Full Text Available Poly (ADP-ribose polymerase 1 (PARP-1 is a nuclear enzyme that is involved in physiological processes as DNA repair, genomic stability, and apoptosis. Moreover, published studies demonstrated that PARP-1 mediates necrotic cell death in response to excessive DNA damage under certain pathological conditions. In Huntington's disease brains, PARP immunoreactivity was described in neurons and in glial cells, thereby suggesting the involvement of apoptosis in HD. In this study, we sought to determine if the PARP-1 inhibitor exerts a neuroprotective effect in R6/2 mutant mice, which recapitulates, in many aspects, human HD. Transgenic mice were treated with the PARP-1 inhibitor INO-1001 mg/Kg daily starting from 4 weeks of age. After transcardial perfusion, histological and immunohistochemical studies were performed. We found that INO 1001-treated R6/2 mice survived longer and displayed less severe signs of neurological dysfunction than the vehicle treated ones. Primary outcome measures such as striatal atrophy, morphology of striatal neurons, neuronal intranuclear inclusions and microglial reaction confirmed a neuroprotective effect of the compound. INO-1001 was effective in significantly increasing activated CREB and BDNF in the striatal spiny neurons, which might account for the beneficial effects observed in this model. Our findings show that PARP-1 inhibition could be considered as a valid therapeutic approach for HD.

  11. Your misery is no longer my pleasure: Reduced schadenfreude in Huntington's disease families.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baez, Sandra; Santamaría-García, Hernando; Orozco, Janni; Fittipaldi, Sol; García, Adolfo M; Pino, Mariana; Ibáñez, Agustín

    2016-10-01

    Schadenfreude - pleasure at others' misfortunes - has been systematically related to ventral striatum activity. This brain region is affected early in individuals with manifest and pre-manifest Huntington's disease (HD). However, the experience of schadenfreude has not yet been investigated in HD. In this study, 21 manifest HD patients, 19 first-degree asymptomatic relatives, and 23 healthy controls performed an experimental task designed to trigger schadenfreude, envy (another social emotion acting as an affective control condition), and control situations. Both HD patients and first-degree relatives experienced lower schadenfreude in response to others' misfortunes, with no group differences in ratings of envy and control conditions. These results offer unprecedented evidence of a highly specific impairment in reward processing, extending previous reports in manifest and pre-manifest HD individuals. Moreover, these findings suggest that early striatal impairments may be related to reduced feelings of schadenfreude. In sum, our work contributes to the understanding of emotional impairments in early stages of HD, while shedding light on their neural correlates.

  12. Impaired adult olfactory bulb neurogenesis in the R6/2 mouse model of Huntington's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kohl Zacharias

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Huntington's disease (HD is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder linked to expanded CAG-triplet nucleotide repeats within the huntingtin gene. Intracellular huntingtin aggregates are present in neurons of distinct brain areas, among them regions of adult neurogenesis including the hippocampus and the subventricular zone/olfactory bulb system. Previously, reduced hippocampal neurogenesis has been detected in transgenic rodent models of HD. Therefore, we hypothesized that mutant huntingtin also affects newly generated neurons derived from the subventricular zone of adult R6/2 HD mice. Results We observed a redirection of immature neuroblasts towards the striatum, however failed to detect new mature neurons. We further analyzed adult neurogenesis in the granular cell layer and the glomerular layer of the olfactory bulb, the physiological target region of subventricular zone-derived neuroblasts. Using bromodeoxyuridine to label proliferating cells, we observed in both neurogenic regions of the olfactory bulb a reduction in newly generated neurons. Conclusion These findings suggest that the striatal environment, severely affected in R6/2 mice, is capable of attracting neuroblasts, however this region fails to provide sufficient signals for neuronal maturation. Moreover, in transgenic R6/2 animals, the hostile huntingtin-associated microenvironment in the olfactory bulb interferes with the survival and integration of new mature neurons. Taken together, endogenous cell repair strategies in HD may require additional factors for the differentiation and survival of newly generated neurons both in neurogenic and non-neurogenic regions.

  13. Early cognitive dysfunction in the HD 51 CAG transgenic rat model of Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fink, Kyle D; Rossignol, Julien; Crane, Andrew T; Davis, Kendra K; Bavar, Angela M; Dekorver, Nicholas W; Lowrance, Steven A; Reilly, Mark P; Sandstrom, Michael I; von Hörsten, Stephan; Lescaudron, Laurent; Dunbar, Gary L

    2012-06-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder in humans caused by an expansion of a CAG trinucleotide repeat that produces choreic movements, which are preceded by cognitive deficits. The HD transgenic rat (tgHD), which contains the human HD mutation with a 51 CAG repeat allele, exhibits motor deficits that begin when these rats are 12 months of age. However, there are no reports of cognitive dysfunction occurring prior to this. To assess whether cognitive dysfunction might precede motor deficits in tgHD rats, one group of 9-month-old male rats with homozygotic mutated genes and one group of wild-type (WT) rats underwent three testing phases in a unique Spatial Operant Reversal Test (SORT) paradigm, as well as assessment of spontaneous motor activity. After testing, morphological and histological examination of the brains were made. Results indicated that tgHD rats acquired the cued-response (Phase 1) portion of the SORT, but made significantly more errors during the reversal (Phase 2) and during the pseudorandomized reversals (Phase 3) portion of the study, when compared to WT rats. Analysis of the data using mathematical principles of reinforcement revealed no memory, motor, or motivational deficits. These results indicate that early cognitive dysfunction, as measured by the SORT, occur prior to motor deficits, gross anatomical changes, or cell loss in the tgHD rat with 51 CAG repeats, and suggest that this protocol could provide a useful screen for therapeutic studies.

  14. Differential effects of the Huntington's disease CAG mutation in striatum and cerebellum are quantitative not qualitative.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fossale, Elisa; Seong, Ihn Sik; Coser, Kathryn R; Shioda, Toshi; Kohane, Isaac S; Wheeler, Vanessa C; Gusella, James F; MacDonald, Marcy E; Lee, Jong-Min

    2011-11-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) involves marked early neurodegeneration in the striatum, whereas the cerebellum is relatively spared despite the ubiquitous expression of full-length mutant huntingtin, implying that inherent tissue-specific differences determine susceptibility to the HD CAG mutation. To understand this tissue specificity, we compared early mutant huntingtin-induced gene expression changes in striatum to those in cerebellum in young Hdh CAG knock-in mice, prior to onset of evident pathological alterations. Endogenous levels of full-length mutant huntingtin caused qualitatively similar, but quantitatively different gene expression changes in the two brain regions. Importantly, the quantitatively different responses in the striatum and cerebellum in mutant mice were well accounted for by the intrinsic molecular differences in gene expression between the striatum and cerebellum in wild-type animals. Tissue-specific gene expression changes in response to the HD mutation, therefore, appear to reflect the different inherent capacities of these tissues to buffer qualitatively similar effects of mutant huntingtin. These findings highlight a role for intrinsic quantitative tissue differences in contributing to HD pathogenesis, and likely to other neurodegenerative disorders exhibiting tissue-specificity, thereby guiding the search for effective therapeutic interventions.

  15. Role of cerebral cortex in the neuropathology of Huntington´s disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana María Estrada-Sánchez

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available An expansion of glutamine repeats in the N-terminal domain of the huntingtin protein leads to Huntington´s disease (HD, a neurodegenerative condition characterized by the presence of involuntary movements, dementia, and psychiatric disturbances. Evaluation of postmortem HD tissue indicates that the most prominent cell loss occurs in cerebral cortex and striatum, forebrain regions in which cortical pyramidal neurons (CPNs and striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs are the most affected. Subsequent evidence obtained from HD patients and especially from transgenic mouse models of HD indicates that long before neuronal death, patterns of communication between CPNs and MSNs become dysfunctional. In fact, electrophysiological signaling in transgenic HD mice is altered even before the appearance of the HD behavioral phenotype, suggesting that dysfunctional cortical input to the striatum sets the stage for the emergence of HD neurological signs. Striatal MSNs, moreover, project back to cortex via multi-synaptic connections, allowing for even further disruptions in cortical processing. An effective therapeutic strategy for HD, therefore, may lie in understanding the synaptic mechanisms by which it dysregulates the corticostriatal system. Here, we review literature evaluating the molecular, morphological, and physiological alterations in the cerebral cortex, a key component of brain circuitry controlling motor behavior, as they occur in both patients and transgenic HD models.

  16. Rhes, a striatal-selective protein implicated in Huntington disease, binds beclin-1 and activates autophagy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mealer, Robert G; Murray, Alexandra J; Shahani, Neelam; Subramaniam, Srinivasa; Snyder, Solomon H

    2014-02-07

    The protein mutated in Huntington disease (HD), mutant huntingtin (mHtt), is expressed throughout the brain and body. However, the pathology of HD is characterized by early and dramatic destruction selectively of the striatum. We previously reported that the striatal-specific protein Rhes binds mHtt and enhances its cytotoxicity. Moreover, Rhes-deleted mice are dramatically protected from neurodegeneration and motor dysfunction in mouse models of HD. We now report a function of Rhes in autophagy, a lysosomal degradation pathway implicated in aging and HD neurodegeneration. In PC12 cells, deletion of endogenous Rhes decreases autophagy, whereas Rhes overexpression activates autophagy. These effects are independent of mTOR and opposite in the direction predicted by the known activation of mTOR by Rhes. Rhes robustly binds the autophagy regulator Beclin-1, decreasing its inhibitory interaction with Bcl-2 independent of JNK-1 signaling. Finally, co-expression of mHtt blocks Rhes-induced autophagy activation. Thus, the isolated pathology and delayed onset of HD may reflect the striatal-selective expression and changes in autophagic activity of Rhes.

  17. Early deficits in glycolysis are specific to striatal neurons from a rat model of huntington disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Gouarné

    Full Text Available In Huntington disease (HD, there is increasing evidence for a link between mutant huntingtin expression, mitochondrial dysfunction, energetic deficits and neurodegeneration but the precise nature, causes and order of these events remain to be determined. In this work, our objective was to evaluate mitochondrial respiratory function in intact, non-permeabilized, neurons derived from a transgenic rat model for HD compared to their wild type littermates by measuring oxygen consumption rates and extracellular acidification rates. Although HD striatal neurons had similar respiratory capacity as those from their wild-type littermates when they were incubated in rich medium containing a supra-physiological glucose concentration (25 mM, pyruvate and amino acids, respiratory defects emerged when cells were incubated in media containing only a physiological cerebral level of glucose (2.5 mM. According to the concept that glucose is not the sole substrate used by the brain for neuronal energy production, we provide evidence that primary neurons can use lactate as well as pyruvate to fuel the mitochondrial respiratory chain. In contrast to glucose, we found no major deficits in HD striatal neurons' capacity to use pyruvate as a respiratory substrate compared to wild type littermates. Additionally, we used extracellular acidification rates to confirm a reduction in anaerobic glycolysis in the same cells. Interestingly, the metabolic disturbances observed in striatal neurons were not seen in primary cortical neurons, a brain region affected in later stages of HD. In conclusion, our results argue for a dysfunction in glycolysis, which might precede any defects in the respiratory chain itself, and these are early events in the onset of disease.

  18. Human glia can both induce and rescue aspects of disease phenotype in Huntington disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Benraiss, Abdellatif; Wang, Su; Herrlinger, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    (hGPCs), derived from either human embryonic stem cells or mHTT-transduced fetal hGPCs. Here we show that mHTT glia can impart disease phenotype to normal mice, since mice engrafted intrastriatally with mHTT hGPCs exhibit worse motor performance than controls, and striatal neurons in mHTT glial......The causal contribution of glial pathology to Huntington disease (HD) has not been heavily explored. To define the contribution of glia to HD, we established human HD glial chimeras by neonatally engrafting immunodeficient mice with mutant huntingtin (mHTT)-expressing human glial progenitor cells...... survival in R6/2 HD mice. These observations suggest a causal role for glia in HD, and further suggest a cell-based strategy for disease amelioration in this disorder....

  19. Cardiac Fas-Dependent and Mitochondria-Dependent Apoptotic Pathways in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Bor-Tsang; Chiang, Ming-Chang; Tasi, Ching-Yi; Kuo, Chia-Hua; Shyu, Woei-Cherng; Kao, Chung-Lan; Huang, Chih-Yang; Lee, Shin-Da

    2016-04-01

    Huntington's disease is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the huntingtin gene. Heart disease is the second leading cause of death in patients with Huntington's disease. This study was to evaluate whether cardiac Fas-dependent and mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathways are activated in transgenic mice with Huntington's disease. Sixteen Huntington's disease transgenic mice (HD) and sixteen wild-type (WT) littermates were studied at 10.5 weeks of age. The cardiac characteristics, myocardial architecture, and two major apoptotic pathways in the excised left ventricle from mice were measured by histopathological analysis, Western blotting, and TUNEL assays. The whole heart weight and the left ventricular weight decreased significantly in the HD group, as compared to the WT group. Abnormal myocardial architecture, enlarged interstitial spaces, and more cardiac TUNEL-positive cells were observed in the HD group. The key components of Fas-dependent apoptosis (TNF-alpha, TNFR1, Fas ligand, Fas death receptors, FADD, activated caspase-8, and activated caspase-3) and the key components of mitochondria-dependent apoptosis (Bax, Bax-to-Bcl-2 ratio, cytosolic cytochrome c, activated caspase-9, and activated caspase-3) increased significantly in the hearts of the HD group. Cardiac Fas-dependent and mitochondria-dependent apoptotic pathways were activated in transgenic mice with Huntington's disease, which might provide one of possible mechanisms to explain why patients with Huntington's disease will develop heart failure.

  20. A study of the CCG polymorphism in the IT15 cDNA in the Scottish Huntington`s disease and normal populations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barron, L.H.; Rae, A.; Brock, D.J.H. [Univ. of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)] [and others

    1994-09-01

    The CCG rich sequence immediately 3{prime} to the CAG repeat that is expanded in Huntington`s disease (HD) has recently been shown to be polymorphic with at least 5 alleles differing by multiples of 3 bp being found in the normal population. We have studied the allele distribution in 200 Scottish HD families and have found very strong evidence for almost complete disequilibrium in this population. For all the families phase was unambiguously determined and 196 were shown to have a CCG repeat allele of 176 bp cosegregating with the HD chromosome. This observation is significantly different to the normal population distribution where 31% of people have an allele of 185 bp. This overrepresentation of the 176 bp allele is also seen in the normal population on chromosomes with greater than 26 CAG repeats. The DNA sequence across the CAG and CCG repeats has been obtained for the four HD patients that do not have a 176 bp CCG repeat size and will be presented. We present strong evidence of genetic heterogeneity in the Scottish HD population making it very unlikely that there is a founder effect in the Scottish HD population. These data suggest that we may have identified a region of the IT15 gene that is critical in the mechanism of Huntington`s disease CAG expansion.

  1. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of latrepirdine in patients with mild to moderate Huntington disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjermind, Lena Elisabeth

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND Latrepirdine is an orally administered experimental small molecule that was initially developed as an antihistamine and subsequently was shown to stabilize mitochondrial membranes and function, which might be impaired in Huntington disease. OBJECTIVE To determine the effect of latrepir...

  2. Development of novel therapies for Huntington's disease:hope and challenge

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zheng-hong QIN; Jin WANG; Zhen-lun GU

    2005-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurological disease. It is a fatal neurological disorder affecting 5-10 out of 10 000 people. While there are intensive research efforts focusing on uncovering molecular mechanisms of the pathogenesis of HD, a number of studies have begun to look for effective therapies for HD. There is a large body of encouraging news on novel therapeutic developments. The present paper reviews drugs used for symptomatic treatment of HD and experimental therapies targeting HD molecular pathology.

  3. Selected CSF biomarkers indicate no evidence of early neuroinflammation in Huntington disease

    OpenAIRE

    Vinther-Jensen, Tua; Börnsen, Lars; Budtz-Jørgensen, Esben; Ammitzbøll, Cecilie; Larsen, Ida U; Hjermind, Lena E; Sellebjerg, Finn; Nielsen, Jørgen E

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To investigate CSF biomarkers of neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration in Huntington disease (HD) gene-expansion carriers compared to controls and to investigate these biomarkers in association with clinical HD rating scales and disease burden score. Methods: We collected CSF from 32 premanifest and 48 manifest HD gene-expansion carriers and 24 gene-expansion negative at-risk controls. We examined biomarkers of neuroinflammation (matrix metalloproteinase 9, C-X-C motif chemokine ...

  4. CAG repeat expansion in Huntington disease determines age at onset in a fully dominant fashion

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lee, J-M; Ramos, E M; Lee, J-H;

    2012-01-01

    Age at onset of diagnostic motor manifestations in Huntington disease (HD) is strongly correlated with an expanded CAG trinucleotide repeat. The length of the normal CAG repeat allele has been reported also to influence age at onset, in interaction with the expanded allele. Due to profound...... implications for disease mechanism and modification, we tested whether the normal allele, interaction between the expanded and normal alleles, or presence of a second expanded allele affects age at onset of HD motor signs....

  5. Dynamics of the connectome in Huntington's disease: A longitudinal diffusion MRI study

    OpenAIRE

    Odish, Omar F F; Karen Caeyenberghs; Hadi Hosseini; van den Bogaard, Simon J. A.; Roos, Raymund A.C.; Alexander Leemans

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Objectives To longitudinally investigate the connectome in different stages of Huntington's disease (HD) by applying graph theoretical analysis to diffusion MRI data. Experimental design We constructed weighted structural networks and calculated their topological properties. Twenty-two premanifest (preHD), 10 early manifest HD and 24 healthy controls completed baseline and 2 year follow-up scans. We stratified the preHD group based on their predicted years to disease onset into a far...

  6. Challenges assessing clinical endpoints in early Huntington disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paulsen, Jane S.; Wang, Chiachi; Duff, Kevin; Barker, Roger; Nance, Martha; Beglinger, Leigh; Moser, David; Williams, Janet K.; Simpson, Sheila; Langbehn, Douglas; van Kammen, Daniel P.

    2010-01-01

    The primary aim of this study was to evaluate the current accepted standard clinical endpoint for the earliest-studied HD participants likely to be recruited into clinical trials. Since the advent of genetic testing for HD, it is possible to identify gene carriers prior to the diagnosis of disease, which opens up the possibility of clinical trials of disease-modifying treatments in clinically asymptomatic persons. Current accepted standard clinical endpoints were examined as part of a multi-national, 32-site, longitudinal, observational study of 786 research participants currently in the HD prodrome (gene-positive but not clinically diagnosed). Clinical signs and symptoms were used to prospectively predict functional loss as assessed by current accepted standard endpoints over 8 years of follow up. Functional capacity measures were not sensitive for HD in the prodrome; over 88% scored at ceiling. Prospective evaluation revealed that the first functional loss was in their accustomed work. In a survival analysis, motor, cognitive, and psychiatric measures were all predictors of job change. To our knowledge, this is the first prospective study ever conducted on the emergence of functional loss secondary to brain disease. We conclude that future clinical trials designed for very early disease will require the development of new and more sensitive measures of real-life function. PMID:20623772

  7. Clinical and genetic study of a juvenile-onset Huntington disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    HAO Ying

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Background Huntington's disease (HD is an autosomal dominant hereditary progressive neurodegenerative disorder with a distinct phenotype characterized by chorea, dementia, cognitive and affective impairment. There are selective neural cell loss and atrophy in the caudate and putamen. Dr. George Huntington firstly described the disease accurately and insightfully, which led to a widespread recognition of the inherited chorea that now bears his name. Huntington disease gene (IT15 locus on chromosome 4p16.3, and encompasses 67 exons with a trinucleotide repeat (CAG in the first exon. The CAG repeat length is highly polymorphic in the population and expanded on at least one chromosome of individuals with HD. Clinically, patient with HD are often onset in adulthood. Juvenile-onset HD is relatively rare. Adult-onset HD patients usually have a CAG expansion from 40 to 55 whereas those with juvenile-onset greater than 60 which are often inherited from the father. We investigated the clinical features of a juvenile-onset case with Huntington disease and dynamic mutation of his family. Methods The CAG repeats of IT15 gene were detected using polymerase chain reaction and capillary electrophoresis in 115 individuals with preliminary diagnosis as Huntington disease. The repeat numbers of some samples carried expanded or intermediate alleles were verified by the pMD18-T vector clone sequencing. Results Fragment analysis showed that one juvenile-onset case presenting with cognitive dysfunction and hypokinesis carried 15/68 CAG repeats of IT15. His father carried 17/37 and mother carried 15/17. Conclusion 1 The juvenile-onset case of HD presented with different clinical features compared with adult-onset cases. The typical signs of adult-onset cases include progressive chorea, rigidity and dementia. The most common sign of juvenile-onset Huntington disease is cognitive decline. 2 The dynamic mutation of IT15 gene expansion of the CAG repeats in the

  8. A new drug design targeting the adenosinergic system for Huntington's disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nai-Kuei Huang

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Huntington's disease (HD is a neurodegenerative disease caused by a CAG trinucleotide expansion in the Huntingtin (Htt gene. The expanded CAG repeats are translated into polyglutamine (polyQ, causing aberrant functions as well as aggregate formation of mutant Htt. Effective treatments for HD are yet to be developed. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we report a novel dual-function compound, N(6-(4-hydroxybenzyladenine riboside (designated T1-11 which activates the A(2AR and a major adenosine transporter (ENT1. T1-11 was originally isolated from a Chinese medicinal herb. Molecular modeling analyses showed that T1-11 binds to the adenosine pockets of the A(2AR and ENT1. Introduction of T1-11 into the striatum significantly enhanced the level of striatal adenosine as determined by a microdialysis technique, demonstrating that T1-11 inhibited adenosine uptake in vivo. A single intraperitoneal injection of T1-11 in wildtype mice, but not in A(2AR knockout mice, increased cAMP level in the brain. Thus, T1-11 enters the brain and elevates cAMP via activation of the A(2AR in vivo. Most importantly, addition of T1-11 (0.05 mg/ml to the drinking water of a transgenic mouse model of HD (R6/2 ameliorated the progressive deterioration in motor coordination, reduced the formation of striatal Htt aggregates, elevated proteasome activity, and increased the level of an important neurotrophic factor (brain derived neurotrophic factor in the brain. These results demonstrate the therapeutic potential of T1-11 for treating HD. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The dual functions of T1-11 enable T1-11 to effectively activate the adenosinergic system and subsequently delay the progression of HD. This is a novel therapeutic strategy for HD. Similar dual-function drugs aimed at a particular neurotransmitter system as proposed herein may be applicable to other neurotransmitter systems (e.g., the dopamine receptor/dopamine transporter and the serotonin receptor

  9. Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells in Huntington's Disease: Disease Modeling and the Potential for Cell-Based Therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ling; Huang, Jin-Sha; Han, Chao; Zhang, Guo-Xin; Xu, Xiao-Yun; Shen, Yan; Li, Jie; Jiang, Hai-Yang; Lin, Zhi-Cheng; Xiong, Nian; Wang, Tao

    2016-12-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an incurable neurodegenerative disorder that is characterized by motor dysfunction, cognitive impairment, and behavioral abnormalities. It is an autosomal dominant disorder caused by a CAG repeat expansion in the huntingtin gene, resulting in progressive neuronal loss predominately in the striatum and cortex. Despite the discovery of the causative gene in 1993, the exact mechanisms underlying HD pathogenesis have yet to be elucidated. Treatments that slow or halt the disease process are currently unavailable. Recent advances in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technologies have transformed our ability to study disease in human neural cells. Here, we firstly review the progress made to model HD in vitro using patient-derived iPSCs, which reveal unique insights into illuminating molecular mechanisms and provide a novel human cell-based platform for drug discovery. We then highlight the promises and challenges for pluripotent stem cells that might be used as a therapeutic source for cell replacement therapy of the lost neurons in HD brains.

  10. American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics Standards and Guidelines for Clinical Genetics Laboratories, 2014 edition: technical standards and guidelines for Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bean, Lora; Bayrak-Toydemir, Pinar

    2014-12-01

    Huntington disease is an autosomal-dominant neurodegenerative disease of mid-life onset caused by expansion of a polymorphic trinucleotide (CAG) repeat. Variable penetrance for alleles carrying 36-39 repeats has been noted, but the disease appears fully penetrant when the repeat numbers are >40. An abnormal CAG repeat may expand, contract, or be stably transmitted when passed from parent to child. Assays used to diagnose Huntington disease must be optimized to ensure the accurate and unambiguous quantitation of CAG repeat length. This document provides an overview of Huntington disease and methodological considerations for Huntington disease testing. Examples of laboratory reports are also included.

  11. Hippocampal Neurogenesis, Cognitive Deficits and Affective Disorder in Huntington's Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark I. Ransome

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Huntington’s disease (HD is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a tandem repeat expansion encoding a polyglutamine tract in the huntingtin protein. HD involves progressive psychiatric, cognitive, and motor symptoms, the selective pathogenesis of which remains to be mechanistically elucidated. There are a range of different brain regions, including the cerebral cortex and striatum, known to be affected in HD, with evidence for hippocampal dysfunction accumulating in recent years. In this review we will focus on hippocampal abnormalities, in particular, deficits of adult neurogenesis. We will discuss potential molecular mechanisms mediating disrupted hippocampal neurogenesis, and how this deficit of cellular plasticity may in turn contribute to specific cognitive and affective symptoms that are prominent in HD. The generation of transgenic animal models of HD has greatly facilitated our understanding of disease mechanisms at molecular, cellular, and systems levels. Transgenic HD mice have been found to show progressive behavioral changes, including affective, cognitive, and motor abnormalities. The discovery, in multiple transgenic lines of HD mice, that adult hippocampal neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity is disrupted, may help explain specific aspects of cognitive and affective dysfunction. Furthermore, these mouse models have provided insight into potential molecular mediators of adult neurogenesis deficits, such as disrupted serotonergic and neurotrophin signaling. Finally, a number of environmental and pharmacological interventions which are known to enhance adult hippocampal neurogenesis have been found to have beneficial affective and cognitive effects in mouse models, suggesting common molecular targets which may have therapeutic utility for HD and related diseases.

  12. Profile of pridopidine and its potential in the treatment of Huntington disease: the evidence to date.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squitieri, Ferdinando; de Yebenes, Justo Garcia

    2015-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is a chronic, genetic, neurodegenerative disease for which there is no cure. The main symptoms of HD are abnormal involuntary movements (chorea and dystonia), impaired voluntary movements (ie, incoordination and gait balance), progressive cognitive decline, and psychiatric disturbances. HD is caused by a CAG-repeat expanded mutation in the HTT gene, which encodes the huntingtin protein. The inherited mutation results in the production of an elongated polyQ mutant huntingtin protein (mHtt). The cellular functions of the Htt protein are not yet fully understood, but the functions of its mutant variant are thought to include alteration of gene transcription and energy production, and dysregulation of neurotransmitter metabolism, receptors, and growth factors. The phenylpiperidines pridopidine (4-[3-methanesulfonyl-phenyl]-1-propyl-piperidine; formerly known as ACR16) and OSU6162 ([S]-[-]-3-[3-methane [sulfonyl-phenyl]-1-propyl-piperidine) are members of a new class of pharmacologic agents known as "dopamine stabilizers". Recent clinical trials have highlighted the potential of pridopidine for symptomatic treatment of patients with HD. More recently, the analysis of HD models (ie, in vitro and in mice) highlighted previously unknown effects of pridopidine (increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor, reduction in mHtt levels, and σ-1 receptor binding and modulation). These additional functions of pridopidine suggest it might be a neuroprotective and disease-modifying drug. Data from ongoing clinical trials of pridopidine will help define its place in the treatment of HD. This commentary examines the available preclinical and clinical evidence regarding the use of pridopidine in HD.

  13. In vitro and in vivo models of Huntington's disease show alterations in the endocannabinoid system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bari, Monica; Battista, Natalia; Valenza, Marta; Mastrangelo, Nicolina; Malaponti, Marinella; Catanzaro, Giuseppina; Centonze, Diego; Finazzi-Agrò, Alessandro; Cattaneo, Elena; Maccarrone, Mauro

    2013-07-01

    In this study, we analyzed the components of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in R6/2 mice, a widely used model of Huntington's disease (HD). We measured the endogenous content of N-arachidonoylethanolamine and 2-arachidonoylglycerol and the activity of their biosynthetic enzymes (N-acyl-phosphatidylethanolamine-hydrolyzing phospholipase D and diacylglycerol lipase, respectively) and hydrolytic enzymes [fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) and monoacylglycerol lipase, respectively] and of their target receptors (type 1 cannabinoid receptor, type 2 cannabinoid receptor, and transient receptor potential vanilloid-1) in the brains of wild-type and R6/2 mice of different ages, as well as in the striatum and cortex of 12-week-old animals. In addition, we measured FAAH activity in lymphocytes of R6/2 mice. In the whole brains of 12-week-old R6/2 mice, we found reductions in N-acyl-phosphatidylethanolamine-hydrolyzing phospholipase D activity, diacylglycerol lipase activity and cannabinoid receptor binding, mostly associated with changes in the striatum but not in the cortex, as well as an increase in 2-arachidonoylglycerol content as compared with wild-type littermates, without any other change in ECS elements. Then, our analysis was extended to HD43 cells, an inducible cellular model of HD derived from rat ST14A cells. In both induced and noninduced conditions, we demonstrated a fully functional ECS. Overall, our data suggest that the ECS is differently affected in mouse and human HD, and that HD43 cells are suitable for high-throughput screening of FAAH-oriented drugs affecting HD progression.

  14. Loss of extra-striatal phosphodiesterase 10A expression in early premanifest Huntington's disease gene carriers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Heather; Niccolini, Flavia; Haider, Salman; Marques, Tiago Reis; Pagano, Gennaro; Coello, Christopher; Natesan, Sridhar; Kapur, Shitij; Rabiner, Eugenii A; Gunn, Roger N; Tabrizi, Sarah J; Politis, Marios

    2016-09-15

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a monogenic neurodegenerative disorder with an underlying pathology involving the toxic effect of mutant huntingtin protein primarily in striatal and cortical neurons. Phosphodiesterase 10A (PDE10A) regulates intracellular signalling cascades, thus having a key role in promoting neuronal survival. Using positron emission tomography (PET) with [(11)C]IMA107, we investigated the in vivo extra-striatal expression of PDE10A in 12 early premanifest HD gene carriers. Image processing and kinetic modelling was performed using MIAKAT™. Parametric images of [(11)C]IMA107 non-displaceable binding potential (BPND) were generated from the dynamic [(11)C]IMA107 scans using the simplified reference tissue model with the cerebellum as the reference tissue for nonspecific binding. We set a threshold criterion for meaningful quantification of [(11)C]IMA107 BPND at 0.30 in healthy control data; regions meeting this criterion were designated as regions of interest (ROIs). MRI-based volumetric analysis showed no atrophy in ROIs. We found significant differences in mean ROIs [(11)C]IMA107 BPND between HD gene carriers and healthy controls. HD gene carriers had significant loss of PDE10A within the insular cortex and occipital fusiform gyrus compared to healthy controls. Insula and occipital fusiform gyrus are important brain areas for the regulation of cognitive and limbic function that is impaired in HD. Our findings suggest that dysregulation of PDE10A-mediated intracellular signalling could be an early phenomenon in the course of HD with relevance also for extra-striatal brain areas.

  15. High prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency in patients with manifest Huntington disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chel, Victor GM; Ooms, Marcel E; van der Bent, Jessie; Veldkamp, Fleur; Roos, Raymund AC; Achterberg, Wilco P; Lips, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are common in older institutionalized people and known to be associated with muscle weakness, impaired balance and increased fall risk. Falls and balance problems are common in people with Huntington disease (HD). Despite this, the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in patients with manifest HD has never been investigated. Serum 25(OH)D levels were measured in routinely drawn blood samples from 28 Dutch institutionalized patients with manifest Huntington disease. Mean serum 25(OH)D level was 33 nmol/l (SD 15). Twenty-five subjects (89%) were vitamin D deficient or insufficient (25(OH)D < 50 nmol/L). A positive association was found between serum 25(OH)D levels and Functional Ambulation Classification (FAC) scores (p = 0.023). PMID:24516688

  16. Factor analysis of the hospital anxiety and depression scale among a Huntington's disease population

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dale, Maria; Maltby, John; Martucci, Rossana

    2015-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Depression and anxiety are common in Huntington's disease, a genetic neurodegenerative disorder. There is a need for measurement tools of mood to be validated within a Huntington's disease population. The current study aimed to analyze the factor structure of the Hospital Anxiety......, with two group factors, comprising four depression and four anxiety items, provided the best fit of the data. The salience of loadings on the bifactor model suggested that loadings were high on the general factor (accounting for 64% of the variance) and low on the group factors (21% for anxiety and 15......% for depression). CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that eight items from the scale perform well among the sample. Consistent with recent developments in modeling the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, a bifactor interpretation for an eight-item version outperformed other extant models. Our findings provide...

  17. Functional connectivity modeling of consistent cortico-striatal degeneration in Huntington's disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Imis Dogan

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a complex neuropsychiatric phenotype. In a recent meta-analysis we identified core regions of consistent neurodegeneration in premanifest HD in the striatum and middle occipital gyrus (MOG. For early manifest HD convergent evidence of atrophy was most prominent in the striatum, motor cortex (M1 and inferior frontal junction (IFJ. The aim of the present study was to functionally characterize this topography of brain atrophy and to investigate differential connectivity patterns formed by consistent cortico-striatal atrophy regions in HD. Using areas of striatal and cortical atrophy at different disease stages as seeds, we performed task-free resting-state and task-based meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM. MACM utilizes the large data source of the BrainMap database and identifies significant areas of above-chance co-activation with the seed-region via the activation-likelihood-estimation approach. In order to delineate functional networks formed by cortical as well as striatal atrophy regions we computed the conjunction between the co-activation profiles of striatal and cortical seeds in the premanifest and manifest stages of HD, respectively. Functional characterization of the seeds was obtained using the behavioral meta-data of BrainMap. Cortico-striatal atrophy seeds of the premanifest stage of HD showed common co-activation with a rather cognitive network including the striatum, anterior insula, lateral prefrontal, premotor, supplementary motor and parietal regions. A similar but more pronounced co-activation pattern, additionally including the medial prefrontal cortex and thalamic nuclei was found with striatal and IFJ seeds at the manifest HD stage. The striatum and M1 were functionally connected mainly to premotor and sensorimotor areas, posterior insula, putamen and thalamus. Behavioral characterization of the seeds confirmed that experiments

  18. Considerations in using linkage analysis as a presymptomatic test for Huntington's disease.

    OpenAIRE

    1988-01-01

    The polymorphic locus D4S10 that is genetically linked to the locus for Huntington's disease (HD) has made possible a presymptomatic test for those at risk. Because the symptoms of this progressively debilitating and fatal illness are not usually manifest until adulthood, the outcome of the test will influence major decisions about career, marriage, and procreation. Several differential diagnoses must be considered before using the test if HD is not confirmed in at least one family member. Re...

  19. Limited Life Expectancy, Human Capital and Health Investments: Evidence from Huntington Disease

    OpenAIRE

    Emily Oster; Ira Shoulson; Ray Dorsey, E.

    2012-01-01

    One of the most basic predictions of human capital theory is that life expectancy should impact human capital investment. Limited exogenous variation in life expectancy makes this difficult to test, especially in the contexts most relevant to the macroeconomic applications. We estimate the relationship between life expectancy and human capital investments using genetic variation in life expectancy driven by Huntington disease (HD), an inherited degenerative neurological disorder with large im...

  20. Modulation of the glutamatergic transmission by Dopamine: a focus on Parkinson, Huntington and Addiction diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gardoni, Fabrizio; Bellone, Camilla

    2015-01-01

    Dopamine (DA) plays a major role in motor and cognitive functions as well as in reward processing by regulating glutamatergic inputs. In particular in the striatum the release of DA rapidly influences synaptic transmission modulating both AMPA and NMDA receptors. Several neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, including Parkinson, Huntington and addiction-related diseases, manifest a dysregulation of glutamate and DA signaling. Here, we will focus our attention on the mechanisms underlying the modulation of the glutamatergic transmission by DA in striatal circuits.

  1. Molecular diagnosis of Huntington disease in Portugal : implications for genetic counselling and clinical practice

    OpenAIRE

    2003-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is a eurodegenerative, autosomal dominant disorder of late-onset, caused by the expansion of a CAG repeat in the coding region of the gene. Ours is the reference laboratory for genetic testing in HD, in Portugal, since 1998; 90.1% of all 158 families known were identified for the first time, including patients with unusual presentation or without family history. A total of 338 genetic tests were performed: 234 for diagnosis, 96 for presymptomatic and four for prenat...

  2. A role for oxidized DNA precursors in Huntington's disease-like striatal neurodegeneration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele De Luca

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Several human neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by the accumulation of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine (8-oxodG in the DNA of affected neurons. This can occur either through direct oxidation of DNA guanine or via incorporation of the oxidized nucleotide during replication. Hydrolases that degrade oxidized purine nucleoside triphosphates normally minimize this incorporation. hMTH1 is the major human hydrolase. It degrades both 8-oxodGTP and 8-oxoGTP to the corresponding monophosphates. To investigate whether the incorporation of oxidized nucleic acid precursors contributes to neurodegeneration, we constructed a transgenic mouse in which the human hMTH1 8-oxodGTPase is expressed. hMTH1 expression protected embryonic fibroblasts and mouse tissues against the effects of oxidants. Wild-type mice exposed to 3-nitropropionic acid develop neuropathological and behavioural symptoms that resemble those of Huntington's disease. hMTH1 transgene expression conferred a dramatic protection against these Huntington's disease-like symptoms, including weight loss, dystonia and gait abnormalities, striatal degeneration, and death. In a complementary approach, an in vitro genetic model for Huntington's disease was also used. hMTH1 expression protected progenitor striatal cells containing an expanded CAG repeat of the huntingtin gene from toxicity associated with expression of the mutant huntingtin. The findings implicate oxidized nucleic acid precursors in the neuropathological features of Huntington's disease and identify the utilization of oxidized nucleoside triphosphates by striatal cells as a significant contributor to the pathogenesis of this disorder.

  3. National symposium on problems of presymptomatic testing for Huntington's disease, Cardiff.

    OpenAIRE

    Tyler, A.; Morris, M

    1990-01-01

    Presymptomatic testing for Huntington's disease has given rise to several ethical problems relating to such issues as confidentiality, the privacy of the individual, the testing of minors and informed consent in connection with blood sample donation. A multidisciplinary conference of staff from genetic centres involved with presymptomatic testing was organised in Cardiff to discuss these and other problems. Recommendations on good practice are described under four headings: pre- and post-test...

  4. The Prevalence of Juvenile Huntington's Disease: A Review of the Literature and Meta-Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quarrell, Oliver; O'Donovan, Kirsty L; Bandmann, Oliver; Strong, Mark

    2012-07-20

    Juvenile Huntington's disease (JHD) is usually defined as Huntington's disease with an onset ≤ 20 years. The proportion of JHD cases reported in studies of Huntington's disease (HD) varies. A review of the literature found 62 studies that reported the proportion of JHD cases amongst all HD cases. The proportion of JHD cases in these studies ranged from 1% to 15%, and in a meta-analysis the pooled proportion of JHD cases was 4.92% (95% confidence interval of 4.07% to 5.84%). Limiting the analysis to the 25 studies which used multiple methods of ascertainment resulted in a similar pooled proportion of 5.32%, (95% confidence interval 4.18% to 6.60%). A small difference was observed when the meta-analysis was restricted to studies from countries defined by the World Bank as high income, that used multiple methods of ascertainment, and that were conducted since 1980 (4.81%, 95% confidence interval 3.31% to 6.58%, n=11). This contrasts with the pooled result from three post 1980 studies using multiple methods of ascertainment from South Africa and Venezuela, defined by the World Bank as upper middle income, where the estimated mean proportion was 9.95%, (95% confidence interval 6.37% to 14.22%). These results, which are expected to be more robust than those from a single study alone, may be helpful in estimating the proportion of JHD cases in a given population. Key Words: Juvenile Huntington's disease, prevalence, epidemiology.

  5. Predicting prognosis of psychosis in Huntington's disease: Case report and review of literature

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    Sujita Kumar Kar

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is rare variant of progressive neurodegenerative disorder which follows an autosomal dominant pattern. Psychiatric comorbidities are not uncommon with HD. Mood disorder, cognitive disturbances, anxiety disorders, and psychosis are the psychiatric comorbidities reported with HD. We report here a case of HD, where psychosis developed during illness. Prognosis of psychosis in HD is emphasized in this report with review of literature.

  6. Limited Life Expectancy, Human Capital and Health Investments: Evidence from Huntington Disease

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    Emily Oster; Ira Shoulson; Ray Dorsey, E

    2012-01-01

    One of the most basic predictions of human capital theory is that life expectancy should impact human capital investment. Limited exogenous variation in life expectancy makes this difficult to test, especially in the contexts most relevant to the macroeconomic applications. We estimate the relationship between life expectancy and human capital investments using genetic variation in life expectancy driven by Huntington disease (HD), an inherited degenerative neurological disorder with large im...

  7. Inhibition of the striatal specific phosphodiesterase PDE10A ameliorates striatal and cortical pathology in R6/2 mouse model of Huntington's disease.

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    Carmela Giampà

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Huntington's disease is a devastating neurodegenerative condition for which there is no therapy to slow disease progression. The particular vulnerability of striatal medium spiny neurons to Huntington's pathology is hypothesized to result from transcriptional dysregulation within the cAMP and CREB signaling cascades in these neurons. To test this hypothesis, and a potential therapeutic approach, we investigated whether inhibition of the striatal-specific cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase PDE10A would alleviate neurological deficits and brain pathology in a highly utilized model system, the R6/2 mouse. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: R6/2 mice were treated with the highly selective PDE10A inhibitor TP-10 from 4 weeks of age until euthanasia. TP-10 treatment significantly reduced and delayed the development of the hind paw clasping response during tail suspension, deficits in rotarod performance, and decrease in locomotor activity in an open field. Treatment prolonged time to loss of righting reflex. These effects of PDE10A inhibition on neurological function were reflected in a significant amelioration in brain pathology, including reduction in striatal and cortical cell loss, the formation of striatal neuronal intranuclear inclusions, and the degree of microglial activation that occurs in response to the mutant huntingtin-induced brain damage. Striatal and cortical levels of phosphorylated CREB and BDNF were significantly elevated. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our findings provide experimental support for targeting the cAMP and CREB signaling pathways and more broadly transcriptional dysregulation as a therapeutic approach to Huntington's disease. It is noteworthy that PDE10A inhibition in the R6/2 mice reduces striatal pathology, consistent with the localization of the enzyme in medium spiny neurons, and also cortical pathology and the formation of neuronal nuclear inclusions. These latter findings suggest that striatal pathology may

  8. Tetrabenazine: the first approved drug for the treatment of chorea in US patients with Huntington disease

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    Samuel Frank

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Samuel FrankBoston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USAAbstract: Huntington disease (HD is a dominantly inherited progressive neurological disease characterized by chorea, an involuntary brief movement that tends to flow between body regions. HD is typically diagnosed based on clinical findings in the setting of a family history and may be confirmed with genetic testing. Predictive testing is available to those at risk, but only experienced clinicians should perform the counseling and testing. Multiple areas of the brain degenerate mainly involving the neurotransmitters dopamine, glutamate, and γ-aminobutyric acid. Although pharmacotherapies theoretically target these neurotransmitters, few well-conducted trials for symptomatic or neuroprotective interventions yielded positive results. Tetrabenazine (TBZ is a dopamine-depleting agent that may be one of the more effective agents for reducing chorea, although it has a risk of potentially serious adverse effects. Some newer antipsychotic agents, such as olanzapine and aripiprazole, may have adequate efficacy with a more favorable adverse-effect profile than older antipsychotic agents for treating chorea and psychosis. This review will address the epidemiology and diagnosis of HD as background for understanding potential pharmacological treatment options. Because TBZ is the only US Food and Drug Administration-approved medication in the United States for HD, the focus of this review will be on its pharmacology, efficacy, safety, and practical uses. There are no current treatments to change the course of HD, but education and symptomatic therapies can be effective tools for clinicians to use with patients and families affected by HD.Keywords: dopamine-depleting agent, neuroleptics, tetrabenazine

  9. Joint recognition-expression impairment of facial emotions in Huntington's disease despite intact understanding of feelings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trinkler, Iris; Cleret de Langavant, Laurent; Bachoud-Lévi, Anne-Catherine

    2013-02-01

    Patients with Huntington's disease (HD), a neurodegenerative disorder that causes major motor impairments, also show cognitive and emotional deficits. While their deficit in recognising emotions has been explored in depth, little is known about their ability to express emotions and understand their feelings. If these faculties were impaired, patients might not only mis-read emotion expressions in others but their own emotions might be mis-interpreted by others as well, or thirdly, they might have difficulties understanding and describing their feelings. We compared the performance of recognition and expression of facial emotions in 13 HD patients with mild motor impairments but without significant bucco-facial abnormalities, and 13 controls matched for age and education. Emotion recognition was investigated in a forced-choice recognition test (FCR), and emotion expression by filming participants while they mimed the six basic emotional facial expressions (anger, disgust, fear, surprise, sadness and joy) to the experimenter. The films were then segmented into 60 stimuli per participant and four external raters performed a FCR on this material. Further, we tested understanding of feelings in self (alexithymia) and others (empathy) using questionnaires. Both recognition and expression were impaired across different emotions in HD compared to controls and recognition and expression scores were correlated. By contrast, alexithymia and empathy scores were very similar in HD and controls. This might suggest that emotion deficits in HD might be tied to the expression itself. Because similar emotion recognition-expression deficits are also found in Parkinson's Disease and vascular lesions of the striatum, our results further confirm the importance of the striatum for emotion recognition and expression, while access to the meaning of feelings relies on a different brain network, and is spared in HD.

  10. Thalamic metabolic abnormalities in patients with Huntington's disease measured by magnetic resonance spectroscopy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Casseb, R.F.; Castellano, G., E-mail: gabriela@ifi.unicamp.br [Cooperacao Interinstitucional de Apoio a Pesquisas sobre o Cerebro (Programa CInAPCe), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil); Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), SP (Brazil). Instituto de Fisica Gleb Wataghin. Dept. de Raios Cosmicos e Cronologia; D' Abreu, A.; Cendes, F. [Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), SP (Brazil). Dept. de Neurologia. Lab. de Neuroimagem; Cooperacao Interinstitucional de Apoio a Pesquisas sobre o Cerebro (Programa CInAPCe), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil); Ruocco, H.H. [Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), SP (Brazil). Fac. de Ciencias Medicas. Dept. de Neurologia. Lab. de Neuroimagem; Lopes-Cendes, I., E-mail: seixas.fk@gmail.com [Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), SP (Brazil). Fac. de Ciencias Medicas. Dept. de Genetica Medica; Cooperacao Interinstitucional de Apoio a Pesquisas sobre o Cerebro (Programa CInAPCe), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil)

    2013-08-15

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurologic disorder that is not completely understood; its fundamental physiological mechanisms and chemical effects remain somewhat unclear. Among these uncertainties, we can highlight information about the concentrations of brain metabolites, which have been widely discussed. Concentration differences in affected, compared to healthy, individuals could lead to the development of useful tools for evaluating the progression of disease, or to the advance of investigations of different/alternative treatments. The aim of this study was to compare the thalamic concentration of metabolites in HD patients and healthy individuals using magnetic resonance spectroscopy. We used a 2.0-Tesla magnetic field, repetition time of 1500 ms, and echo time of 135 ms. Spectra from 40 adult HD patients and 26 control subjects were compared. Quantitative analysis was performed using the LCModel method. There were statistically significant differences between HD patients and controls in the concentrations of N-acetylaspartate+N-acetylaspartylglutamate (NAA+NAAG; t-test, P,0.001), and glycerophosphocholine+phosphocholine (GPC+PCh; t-test, P=0.001) relative to creatine+phosphocreatine (Cr+PCr). The NAA+NAAG/Cr+PCr ratio was decreased by 9% and GPC+PCh/Cr+PCr increased by 17% in patients compared with controls. There were no correlations between the concentration ratios and clinical features. Although these results could be caused by T1 and T2 changes, rather than variations in metabolite concentrations given the short repetition time and long echo time values used, our findings point to thalamic dysfunction, corroborating prior evidence. (author)

  11. Patterns of Co-Occurring Gray Matter Concentration Loss across the Huntington Disease Prodrome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciarochi, Jennifer Ashley; Calhoun, Vince D.; Lourens, Spencer; Long, Jeffrey D.; Johnson, Hans J.; Bockholt, H. Jeremy; Liu, Jingyu; Plis, Sergey M.; Paulsen, Jane S.; Turner, Jessica A.

    2016-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is caused by an abnormally expanded cytosine–adenine–guanine (CAG) trinucleotide repeat in the HTT gene. Age and CAG-expansion number are related to age at diagnosis and can be used to index disease progression. However, observed onset-age variability suggests that other factors also modulate progression. Indexing prodromal (pre-diagnosis) progression may highlight therapeutic targets by isolating the earliest-affected factors. We present the largest prodromal HD application of the univariate method voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and the first application of the multivariate method source-based morphometry (SBM) to, respectively, compare gray matter concentration (GMC) and capture co-occurring GMC patterns in control and prodromal participants. Using structural MRI data from 1050 (831 prodromal, 219 control) participants, we characterize control-prodromal, whole-brain GMC differences at various prodromal stages. Our results provide evidence for (1) regional co-occurrence and differential patterns of decline across the prodrome, with parietal and occipital differences commonly co-occurring, and frontal and temporal differences being relatively independent from one another, (2) fronto-striatal circuits being among the earliest and most consistently affected in the prodrome, (3) delayed degradation in some movement-related regions, with increasing subcortical and occipital differences with later progression, (4) an overall superior-to-inferior gradient of GMC reduction in frontal, parietal, and temporal lobes, and (5) the appropriateness of SBM for studying the prodromal HD population and its enhanced sensitivity to early prodromal and regionally concurrent differences. PMID:27708610

  12. Quantitative Electroencephalographic Biomarkers in Preclinical and Human Studies of Huntington's Disease: Are They Fit-for-Purpose for Treatment Development?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leuchter, Michael K; Donzis, Elissa J; Cepeda, Carlos; Hunter, Aimee M; Estrada-Sánchez, Ana María; Cook, Ian A; Levine, Michael S; Leuchter, Andrew F

    2017-01-01

    A major focus in development of novel therapies for Huntington's disease (HD) is identification of treatments that reduce the burden of mutant huntingtin (mHTT) protein in the brain. In order to identify and test the efficacy of such therapies, it is essential to have biomarkers that are sensitive to the effects of mHTT on brain function to determine whether the intervention has been effective at preventing toxicity in target brain systems before onset of clinical symptoms. Ideally, such biomarkers should have a plausible physiologic basis for detecting the effects of mHTT, be measureable both in preclinical models and human studies, be practical to measure serially in clinical trials, and be reliably measurable in HD gene expansion carriers (HDGECs), among other features. Quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG) fulfills many of these basic criteria of a "fit-for-purpose" biomarker. qEEG measures brain oscillatory activity that is regulated by the brain structures that are affected by mHTT in premanifest and early symptom individuals. The technology is practical to implement in the laboratory and is well tolerated by humans in clinical trials. The biomarkers are measureable across animal models and humans, with findings that appear to be detectable in HDGECs and translate across species. We review here the literature on recent developments in both preclinical and human studies of the use of qEEG biomarkers in HD, and the evidence for their usefulness as biomarkers to help guide development of novel mHTT lowering treatments.

  13. Protective effect of sodium butyrate on the cell culture model of Huntington disease

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhang Baorong; Tian Jun; Yin Xinzhen; Luo Wei; Xia Kun

    2007-01-01

    This study aimed to develop a cell culture model of Huntington disease and observe the effect of sodium butyrate on this cell culture model. Exon 1 of both a wild type and a mutant IT15 gene from the genomic DNA of a healthy adult and a patient with Huntington disease was amplified and cloned into the eukaryotic expression vector pEGFP-C1. Human neuroblastoma SH-SYSY cells were transiently transfected with these recombinant plasmids in the absence and presence of sodium butyrate (0.1, 0.2, 0.5, 1.0 mmol/L). The MTT assay was used to measure cell viability. The results indicated that the N-terminal fragment of mutant huntingtin formed perinuclear and intranuclear aggregates and caused a decrease of SH-SY5Y cell viability. Sodium butyrate inhibited the decrease of SH-SYSY cell viability caused by the N-terminal fragment of mutant huntingtin. This suggests that sodium butyrate has a protective effect on this cell culture model of Huntington disease.

  14. Effect of CAG repeat length on psychiatric disorders in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vassos, Evangelos; Panas, Marios; Kladi, Athina; Vassilopoulos, Dimitrios

    2008-06-01

    There is strong evidence that the length of CAG repeats, in patients with Huntington's disease (HD), govern the age of onset and the rate of clinical progression of neurological symptoms. However, psychiatric manifestations of the disease have not been examined as comprehensively. Seventy two Greek patients with Huntington's disease had DNA testing and were clinically assessed by means of a semi-structured interview (SCID) and four self-rated questionnaires. Genotype-phenotype correlations were examined. The CAG repeat length had a significant negative association with the age of onset of psychiatric disorders, the total level of functioning and the MMSE. However, the probability of developing a psychiatric disorder and the severity of psychiatric symptoms were not determined by the trinucleotide expansion, after controlling for the duration of illness, sex, and age of the subjects. The factors that determine the development of psychiatric symptoms in HD patients seem not to be limited to a dose related toxicity of the expanded Huntington. It is hypothesized that alternative genetic or environmental factors underlie the pathogenesis of the psychiatric phenotype.

  15. The relationship between CAG repeat length and clinical progression in Huntington's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravina, Bernard; Romer, Megan; Constantinescu, Radu; Biglan, Kevin; Brocht, Alicia; Kieburtz, Karl; Shoulson, Ira; McDermott, Michael P

    2008-07-15

    The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between CAG repeat length (CAGn) and clinical progression in patients with Huntington's disease (HD). There are conflicting reports about the relationship between CAGn and clinical progression of HD. We conducted an analysis of data from the Coenzyme Q10 and Remacemide Evaluation in Huntington's Disease (CARE-HD) clinical trial. We modeled progression over 30 months on the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) and supplemental neuropsychological and behavioral tests using multiple linear regression. Mean subject age was 47.9 +/- 10.5 years and mean CAGn was 45.0 +/- 4.1. Multiple linear regression revealed statistically significant associations between CAGn and worsening on several motor, cognitive, and functional outcomes, but not behavioral outcomes. Many effects were clinically important; 10 additional CAG repeats were associated with an 81% increase in progression on the Independence Scale. These associations were not observed in the absence of age adjustment. Age at the time of assessment confounds the association between CAGn and progression. Adjusting for age shows that longer CAGn is associated with greater clinical progression of HD. This finding may account for the variable results from previous studies examining CAGn and progression. Adjusting for CAGn may be important for clinical trials.

  16. Optical coherence tomography findings in Huntington's disease: a potential biomarker of disease progression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kersten, Hannah M; Danesh-Meyer, Helen V; Kilfoyle, Dean H; Roxburgh, Richard H

    2015-11-01

    Previous reports of ocular abnormalities in Huntington's disease (HD) have detailed eye movement disorders. The objective of this case-control study was to investigate optic nerve and macular morphology in HD using optical coherence tomography (OCT). A total of 26 HD patients and 29 controls underwent a thorough ophthalmic examination including spectral domain OCT scans of the macula and peripapillary retinal nerve fibre layer (RNFL). Genetic testing results, disease duration, HD disease burden scores and Unified HD Rating Scale motor scores were acquired for HD patients. Temporal RNFL thickness was significantly reduced in the HD group (62.3 vs. 69.8 μm, p = 0.005), and there was a significant negative correlation between temporal RNFL thickness and disease duration (R (2) = -0.51, p = 0.04). Average peripapillary RNFL thickness was not significantly different between the HD and control groups. There was a significant negative correlation between macular volume and disease duration (R (2) = -0.71, p = 0.002), and motor scores (R (2) = -0.56, p = 0.01). Colour vision was significantly poorer in the HD group. Temporal RNFL is preferentially thinned in HD patients, possibly implicating mitochondrial dysfunction as the temporal RNFL is reduced in the patients with some mitochondrial disorders, including Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy. The correlation between the decrease in macular volume and temporal RNFL, and increasing disease severity suggests that OCT may be a useful biomarker for disease progression in HD. Larger, longitudinal studies are required.

  17. Profile of pridopidine and its potential in the treatment of Huntington disease: the evidence to date

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Squitieri F

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Ferdinando Squitieri,1 Justo Garcia de Yebenes2 1IRCCS Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, San Giovanni Rotondo and Mendel Institute of Human Genetics, Rome, Italy; 2Fundación para Investigaciones Neurológicas, Madrid, Spain Abstract: Huntington disease (HD is a chronic, genetic, neurodegenerative disease for which there is no cure. The main symptoms of HD are abnormal involuntary movements (chorea and dystonia, impaired voluntary movements (ie, incoordination and gait balance, progressive cognitive decline, and psychiatric disturbances. HD is caused by a CAG-repeat expanded mutation in the HTT gene, which encodes the huntingtin protein. The inherited mutation results in the production of an elongated polyQ mutant huntingtin protein (mHtt. The cellular functions of the Htt protein are not yet fully understood, but the functions of its mutant variant are thought to include alteration of gene transcription and energy production, and dysregulation of neurotransmitter metabolism, receptors, and growth factors. The phenylpiperidines pridopidine (4-[3-methanesulfonyl-phenyl]-1-propyl-piperidine; formerly known as ACR16 and OSU6162 ([S]-[-]-3-[3-methane [sulfonyl-phenyl]-1-propyl-piperidine are members of a new class of pharmacologic agents known as “dopamine stabilizers”. Recent clinical trials have highlighted the potential of pridopidine for symptomatic treatment of patients with HD. More recently, the analysis of HD models (ie, in vitro and in mice highlighted previously unknown effects of pridopidine (increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor, reduction in mHtt levels, and σ-1 receptor binding and modulation. These additional functions of pridopidine suggest it might be a neuroprotective and disease-modifying drug. Data from ongoing clinical trials of pridopidine will help define its place in the treatment of HD. This commentary examines the available preclinical and clinical evidence regarding the use of pridopidine in HD. Keywords

  18. MicroRNAs located in the Hox gene clusters are implicated in huntington's disease pathogenesis.

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    Andrew G Hoss

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Transcriptional dysregulation has long been recognized as central to the pathogenesis of Huntington's disease (HD. MicroRNAs (miRNAs represent a major system of post-transcriptional regulation, by either preventing translational initiation or by targeting transcripts for storage or for degradation. Using next-generation miRNA sequencing in prefrontal cortex (Brodmann Area 9 of twelve HD and nine controls, we identified five miRNAs (miR-10b-5p, miR-196a-5p, miR-196b-5p, miR-615-3p and miR-1247-5p up-regulated in HD at genome-wide significance (FDR q-value<0.05. Three of these, miR-196a-5p, miR-196b-5p and miR-615-3p, were expressed at near zero levels in control brains. Expression was verified for all five miRNAs using reverse transcription quantitative PCR and all but miR-1247-5p were replicated in an independent sample (8HD/8C. Ectopic miR-10b-5p expression in PC12 HTT-Q73 cells increased survival by MTT assay and cell viability staining suggesting increased expression may be a protective response. All of the miRNAs but miR-1247-5p are located in intergenic regions of Hox clusters. Total mRNA sequencing in the same samples identified fifteen of 55 genes within the Hox cluster gene regions as differentially expressed in HD, and the Hox genes immediately adjacent to the four Hox cluster miRNAs as up-regulated. Pathway analysis of mRNA targets of these miRNAs implicated functions for neuronal differentiation, neurite outgrowth, cell death and survival. In regression models among the HD brains, huntingtin CAG repeat size, onset age and age at death were independently found to be inversely related to miR-10b-5p levels. CAG repeat size and onset age were independently inversely related to miR-196a-5p, onset age was inversely related to miR-196b-5p and age at death was inversely related to miR-615-3p expression. These results suggest these Hox-related miRNAs may be involved in neuroprotective response in HD. Recently, miRNAs have shown promise as

  19. A pathogenic mechanism in Huntington's disease involves small CAG-repeated RNAs with neurotoxic activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bañez-Coronel, Mónica; Porta, Silvia; Kagerbauer, Birgit; Mateu-Huertas, Elisabet; Pantano, Lorena; Ferrer, Isidre; Guzmán, Manuel; Estivill, Xavier; Martí, Eulàlia

    2012-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominantly inherited disorder caused by the expansion of CAG repeats in the Huntingtin (HTT) gene. The abnormally extended polyglutamine in the HTT protein encoded by the CAG repeats has toxic effects. Here, we provide evidence to support that the mutant HTT CAG repeats interfere with cell viability at the RNA level. In human neuronal cells, expanded HTT exon-1 mRNA with CAG repeat lengths above the threshold for complete penetrance (40 or greater) induced cell death and increased levels of small CAG-repeated RNAs (sCAGs), of ≈21 nucleotides in a Dicer-dependent manner. The severity of the toxic effect of HTT mRNA and sCAG generation correlated with CAG expansion length. Small RNAs obtained from cells expressing mutant HTT and from HD human brains significantly decreased neuronal viability, in an Ago2-dependent mechanism. In both cases, the use of anti-miRs specific for sCAGs efficiently blocked the toxic effect, supporting a key role of sCAGs in HTT-mediated toxicity. Luciferase-reporter assays showed that expanded HTT silences the expression of CTG-containing genes that are down-regulated in HD. These results suggest a possible link between HD and sCAG expression with an aberrant activation of the siRNA/miRNA gene silencing machinery, which may trigger a detrimental response. The identification of the specific cellular processes affected by sCAGs may provide insights into the pathogenic mechanisms underlying HD, offering opportunities to develop new therapeutic approaches.

  20. A majority of Huntington's disease patients may be treatable by individualized allele-specific RNA interference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lombardi, Maria Stella; Jaspers, Leonie; Spronkmans, Christine; Gellera, Cinzia; Taroni, Franco; Di Maria, Emilio; Donato, Stefano Di; Kaemmerer, William F

    2009-06-01

    Use of RNA interference to reduce huntingtin protein (htt) expression in affected brain regions may provide an effective treatment for Huntington disease (HD), but it remains uncertain whether suppression of both wild-type and mutant alleles in a heterozygous patient will provide more benefit than harm. Previous research has shown suppression of just the mutant allele is achievable using siRNA targeted to regions of HD mRNA containing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). To determine whether more than a minority of patients may be eligible for an allele-specific therapy, we genotyped DNA from 327 unrelated European Caucasian HD patients at 26 SNP sites in the HD gene. Over 86% of the patients were found to be heterozygous for at least one SNP among those tested. Because the sites are genetically linked, one cannot use the heterozygosity rates of the individual SNPs to predict how many sites (and corresponding allele-specific siRNA) would be needed to provide at least one treatment possibility for this percentage of patients. By computing all combinations, we found that a repertoire of allele-specific siRNA corresponding to seven sites can provide at least one allele-specific siRNA treatment option for 85.6% of our sample. Moreover, we provide evidence that allele-specific siRNA targeting these sites are readily identifiable using a high throughput screening method, and that allele-specific siRNA identified using this method indeed show selective suppression of endogenous mutant htt protein in fibroblast cells from HD patients. Therefore, allele-specific siRNA are not so rare as to be impractical to find and use therapeutically.

  1. Thiol-disulfide Oxidoreductases TRX1 and TMX3 Decrease Neuronal Atrophy in a Lentiviral Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Jonathan; Lu, Zhen; Barrows, Lorraine

    2015-11-06

    Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by a trinucleotide CAG repeat in the huntingtin gene (HTT) that results in expression of a polyglutamine-expanded mutant huntingtin protein (mHTT). N-terminal fragments of mHTT accumulate in brain neurons and glia as soluble monomeric and oligomeric species as well as insoluble protein aggregates and drive the disease process. Decreasing mHTT levels in brain provides protection and reversal of disease signs in HD mice making mHTT a prime target for disease modification. There is evidence for aberrant thiol oxidation within mHTT and other proteins in HD models. Based on this, we hypothesized that a specific thiol-disulfide oxidoreductase exists that decreases mHTT levels in cells and provides protection in HD mice. We undertook an in-vitro genetic screen of key thiol-disulfide oxidoreductases then completed secondary screens to identify those with mHTT decreasing properties. Our in-vitro experiments identified thioredoxin 1 and thioredoxin-related transmembrane protein 3 as proteins that decrease soluble mHTT levels in cultured cells. Using a lentiviral mouse model of HD we tested the effect of these proteins in striatum. Both proteins decreased mHTT-induced striatal neuronal atrophy. Findings provide evidence for a role of dysregulated protein-thiol homeostasis in the pathogenesis of HD.

  2. The role of melatonin in multiple sclerosis, Huntington's disease and cerebral ischemia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escribano, Begoña M; Colín-González, Ana L; Santamaría, Abel; Túnez, Isaac

    2014-01-01

    Melatonin is produced and released by the pineal gland in a circadian rhythm. This neurohormone has proven to be an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecule able to reduce or mitigate cell damage associated with oxidative stress and inflammation, and this phenomenon underlies neurodegenerative disorders. These facts have drawn attention to this indole, triggering interest in evaluating its changes and in its relationship to the processes indicated, and analyzing its role in the mechanisms involved at the onset and development of neurodegenerative diseases, as well as its therapeutic potential. Multiple sclerosis, the most common cause of non-traumatic disability in young adults, is a chronic neuroinflammatory disease, characterized by demyelination, inflammation, and neuronal and oxidative damage. In its early diagnosis, it often requires a differential screening with other neurodegenerative diseases with similar symptoms, such as Huntington's disease, an autosomal dominant disorder. The onset of both diseases occurs in the second or third decade of life. On the other hand, cerebral ischemia is a major cause of human disability all over the world. Although a cerebral stroke can occur as the result of different damaging insults, severe ischemia produces the death of neuronal cells within minutes. Changes in melatonin levels have been observed in these processes (Huntington's disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral ischemia) as part of their pathogenic features. This review aims to update and discuss the role played by melatonin during neurodegenerative processes, specifically in multiple sclerosis, Huntington's disease, and cerebral ischemia, and its possible therapeutic use. We also provide readers with an update on the many neuroprotective mechanisms exerted by this neurohormone in the Central Nervous System.

  3. modelling gait syndrome in huntington's disease: the genetic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    HOD

    But drugs debase human activities, thus the application of electroconvulsive therapy. .... has been shown to resuscitate dead brain tissues in. Parkinson's ... during evolution according to a user-definable mutation .... Population Size,. 500.

  4. Polysomnographic Findings and Clinical Correlates in Huntington Disease: A Cross-Sectional Cohort Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piano, Carla; Losurdo, Anna; Della Marca, Giacomo; Solito, Marcella; Calandra-Buonaura, Giovanna; Provini, Federica; Bentivoglio, Anna Rita; Cortelli, Pietro

    2015-01-01

    Study Objectives: To evaluate the sleep pattern and the motor activity during sleep in a cohort of patients affected by Huntington disease (HD). Design: Cross-sectional cohort study. Setting: Sleep laboratory. Patients: Thirty HD patients, 16 women and 14 men (mean age 57.3 ± 12.2 y); 30 matched healthy controls (mean age 56.5 ± 11.8 y). Interventions: Subjective sleep evaluation: Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS); Berlin's Questionnaire, interview for restless legs syndrome (RLS), questionnaire for REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). Clinical evaluation: disease duration, clinical severity (unified Huntington disease motor rating scale [UHDMRS]), genetic tests. Laboratory-based full-night attended video-polysomnography (V-PSG). Measurements and Results: The duration of the disease was 9.4 ± 4.4 y, UHMDRS score was 55.5 ± 23.4, CAG repeats were 44.3 ± 4.1. Body mass index was 21.9 ± 4.0 kg/m2. No patients or caregivers reported poor sleep quality. Two patients reported symptoms of RLS. Eight patients had an ESS score ≥ 9. Eight patients had high risk of obstructive sleep apnea. At the RBD questionnaire, two patients had a pathological score. HD patients, compared to controls, showed shorter sleep, reduced sleep efficiency index, and increased arousals and awakenings. Four patients presented with sleep disordered breathing (SDB). Periodic limb movements (PLMs) during wake and sleep were observed in all patients. No episode of RBD was observed in the V-PSG recordings, and no patients showed rapid eye movement (REM) sleep without atonia. The disease duration correlated with ESS score (P Marca G, Solito M, Calandra-Buonaura G, Provini F, Bentivoglio AR, Cortelli P. Polysomnographic findings and clinical correlates in Huntington disease: a cross-sectional cohort study. SLEEP 2015;38(9):1489–1495. PMID:25845698

  5. Polysomnographic Findings and Clinical Correlates in Huntington Disease: A Cross-Sectional Cohort Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piano, Carla; Losurdo, Anna; Della Marca, Giacomo; Solito, Marcella; Calandra-Buonaura, Giovanna; Provini, Federica; Bentivoglio, Anna Rita; Cortelli, Pietro

    2015-09-01

    To evaluate the sleep pattern and the motor activity during sleep in a cohort of patients affected by Huntington disease (HD). Cross-sectional cohort study. Sleep laboratory. Thirty HD patients, 16 women and 14 men (mean age 57.3 ± 12.2 y); 30 matched healthy controls (mean age 56.5 ± 11.8 y). Subjective sleep evaluation: Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS); Berlin's Questionnaire, interview for restless legs syndrome (RLS), questionnaire for REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD). Clinical evaluation: disease duration, clinical severity (unified Huntington disease motor rating scale [UHDMRS]), genetic tests. Laboratory-based full-night attended video-polysomnography (V-PSG). The duration of the disease was 9.4 ± 4.4 y, UHMDRS score was 55.5 ± 23.4, CAG repeats were 44.3 ± 4.1. Body mass index was 21.9 ± 4.0 kg/m(2). No patients or caregivers reported poor sleep quality. Two patients reported symptoms of RLS. Eight patients had an ESS score ≥ 9. Eight patients had high risk of obstructive sleep apnea. At the RBD questionnaire, two patients had a pathological score. HD patients, compared to controls, showed shorter sleep, reduced sleep efficiency index, and increased arousals and awakenings. Four patients presented with sleep disordered breathing (SDB). Periodic limb movements (PLMs) during wake and sleep were observed in all patients. No episode of RBD was observed in the V-PSG recordings, and no patients showed rapid eye movement (REM) sleep without atonia. The disease duration correlated with ESS score (P Huntington disease showed a severe sleep disruption and a high prevalence of periodic limb movements, but no evidence of sleep disordered breathing or REM sleep behavior disorder. © 2015 Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC.

  6. The role of mitochondrial disturbances in Alzheimer, Parkinson and Huntington diseases.

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    Carvalho, Cristina; Correia, Sónia C; Cardoso, Susana; Plácido, Ana I; Candeias, Emanuel; Duarte, Ana I; Moreira, Paula I

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondria are highly dynamic organelles involved in a multitude of cellular events. Disturbances of mitochondrial function and dynamics are associated with cells degeneration and death. Neurons, perhaps more than any other cell, depend on mitochondria for their survival. In fact, accumulating evidence reveals that mitochondria take center stage in several neurodegenerative diseases. Here we will give an overview of the mechanisms involved in the maintenance of a healthy mitochondrial pool in neuronal cells and how disturbances in these processes underlie the pathophysiology of three common neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer, Parkinson and Huntington diseases. Additionally, we will discuss the role of sirtuins in neurodegeneration and how mitohormesis and vitagenes activation may counteract neurodegenerative events.

  7. Advances in huntington disease drug discovery: novel approaches to model disease phenotypes.

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    Bard, Jonathan; Wall, Michael D; Lazari, Ovadia; Arjomand, Jamshid; Munoz-Sanjuan, Ignacio

    2014-02-01

    Huntington disease is a monogenic, autosomal dominant, progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by a trinucleotide CAG repeat expansion in exon 1 of the huntingtin (HTT) gene; age of onset of clinical symptoms inversely correlates with expanded CAG repeat length. HD leads to extensive degeneration of the basal ganglia, hypothalamic nuclei, and selected cortical areas, and a wide range of molecular mechanisms have been implicated in disease pathology in animal or cellular models expressing mutated HTT (mHTT) proteins, either full-length or amino-terminal fragments. However, HD cellular models that recapitulate the slow progression of the disease have not been available due to the toxicity of overexpressed exogenous mHTT or to limitations with using primary cells for long-term studies. Most investigations of the effects of mHTT relied on cytotoxicity or aggregation end points in heterologous systems or in primary embryonic neuroglial cultures derived from HD mouse models. More innovative approaches are currently under active investigation, including screening using electrophysiological endpoints, as well as the recent use of primary blood mononuclear cells and of human embryonic stem cells derived from a variety of HD research participants. Here we describe how these cellular systems are being used to investigate HD biology as well as to identify mechanisms with therapeutic potential.

  8. Short G-rich oligonucleotides as a potential therapeutic for Huntington's Disease

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    Parekh-Olmedo Hetal

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Huntington's Disease (HD is an inherited autosomal dominant genetic disorder in which neuronal tissue degenerates. The pathogenesis of the disease appears to center on the development of protein aggregates that arise initially from the misfolding of the mutant HD protein. Mutant huntingtin (Htt is produced by HD genes that contain an increased number of glutamine codons within the first exon and this expansion leads to the production of a protein that misfolds. Recent studies suggest that mutant Htt can nucleate protein aggregation and interfere with a multitude of normal cellular functions. Results As such, efforts to find a therapy for HD have focused on agents that disrupt or block the mutant Htt aggregation pathway. Here, we report that short guanosine monotonic oligonucleotides capable of adopting a G-quartet structure, are effective inhibitors of aggregation. By utilizing a biochemical/immunoblotting assay as an initial screen, we identified a 20-mer, all G-oligonucleotide (HDG as an active molecule. Subsequent testing in a cell-based assay revealed that HDG was an effective inhibitor of aggregation of a fusion protein, comprised of a mutant Htt fragment and green fluorescent protein (eGFP. Taken together, our results suggest that a monotonic G-oligonucleotide, capable of adopting a G-quartet conformation is an effective inhibitor of aggregation. This oligonucleotide can also enable cell survival in PC12 cells overexpressing a mutant Htt fragment fusion gene. Conclusion Single-stranded DNA oligonucleotides capable of forming stable G-quartets can inhibit aggregation of the mutant Htt fragment protein. This activity maybe an important part of the pathogenecity of Huntington's Disease. Our results reveal a new class of agents that could be developed as a therapeutic approach for Huntington's Disease.

  9. Endocannabinoids and Neurodegenerative Disorders: Parkinson's Disease, Huntington's Chorea, Alzheimer's Disease, and Others.

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    Fernández-Ruiz, Javier; Romero, Julián; Ramos, José A

    2015-01-01

    This review focuses on the role of the endocannabinoid signaling system in controlling neuronal survival, an extremely important issue to be considered when developing new therapies for neurodegenerative disorders. First, we will describe the cellular and molecular mechanisms, and the signaling pathways, underlying these neuroprotective properties, including the control of glutamate homeostasis, calcium influx, the toxicity of reactive oxygen species, glial activation and other inflammatory events; and the induction of autophagy. We will then concentrate on the preclinical studies and the few clinical trials that have been carried out targeting endocannabinoid signaling in three important chronic progressive neurodegenerative disorders (Parkinson's disease, Huntington's chorea, and Alzheimer's disease), as well as in other less well-studied disorders. We will end by offering some ideas and proposals for future research that should be carried out to optimize endocannabinoid-based treatments for these disorders. Such studies will strengthen the possibility that these therapies will be investigated in the clinical scenario and licensed for their use in specific disorders.

  10. Genetic features of Huntington disease in Cuban population: implications for phenotype, epidemiology and predictive testing.

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    Vázquez-Mojena, Yaimeé; Laguna-Salvia, Leonides; Laffita-Mesa, José M; González-Zaldívar, Yanetza; Almaguer-Mederos, Luis E; Rodríguez-Labrada, Roberto; Almaguer-Gotay, Dennis; Zayas-Feria, Pedro; Velázquez-Pérez, Luis

    2013-12-15

    Huntington disease is the most frequent polyglutamine disorder with variable worldwide prevalence. Although some Latin American populations have been studied, HD prevalence in Cuban population remains unknown. In order to characterize the disease in Cuba, the relative frequency of HD was determined by studying 130 patients with chorea and 63 unrelated healthy controls, emphasizing in the molecular epidemiology of the disease. Sixty-two patients with chorea belonging to 16 unrelated families carried a pathological CAG expansion in the HTT gene, ranging from 39 to 67 repeats. Eighty-three percent of them come from the eastern region of the country. A significant inverse correlation between age at onset and expanded CAG repeats was seen. Intermediate alleles in affected individuals and controls represented 4.8% and 3.97% respectively, which have been a putative source of de novo mutation. This study represents the largest molecular characterization of Huntington disease in the Cuban population. These results may have significant implications for an understanding of the disease, its diagnosis and prognosis in Cuban patients, giving health professionals the tools to implement confirmatory genetic testing, pre-symptomatic testing and clinical trials in this population.

  11. Qualitative study on the placement of Huntington disease patients in a psychiatric hospital: perceptions of Maltese nurses.

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    Scerri, Josianne; Cassar, Rebecca

    2013-12-01

    Individuals with adult or juvenile Huntington disease can be cared for within psychiatric hospitals. In this paper, nurses' perceptions about the appropriateness of a psychiatric setting for these patients were explored. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 10 Maltese nurses involved in the care of these individuals. Their responses were analyzed using thematic analysis. Three main themes were identified from this study: (i) Huntington disease is not a mental illness; (ii) the lack of specialized staff and equipment within a psychiatric setting; and (iii) a need for alternative care options. The findings provide an insight into the perceptions of nurses, as they play a key role in the care and management of individuals with Huntington disease in a psychiatric setting. The findings demonstrated the need to provide alternative residential options in the community, and to improve the care and support provided both within psychiatric hospitals and the community through staff education and the provision of necessary facilities and equipment.

  12. Suppression of Somatic Expansion Delays the Onset of Pathophysiology in a Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease.

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    Helen Budworth

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Huntington's Disease (HD is caused by inheritance of a single disease-length allele harboring an expanded CAG repeat, which continues to expand in somatic tissues with age. The inherited disease allele expresses a toxic protein, and whether further somatic expansion adds to toxicity is unknown. We have created an HD mouse model that resolves the effects of the inherited and somatic expansions. We show here that suppressing somatic expansion substantially delays the onset of disease in littermates that inherit the same disease-length allele. Furthermore, a pharmacological inhibitor, XJB-5-131, inhibits the lengthening of the repeat tracks, and correlates with rescue of motor decline in these animals. The results provide evidence that pharmacological approaches to offset disease progression are possible.

  13. Psychological impact of genetic testing for Huntington's disease: an update of the literature.

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    Meiser, B; Dunn, S

    2000-11-01

    Genetic testing has been available for Huntington's disease for longer than any other adult onset genetic disorder. The discovery of the genetic mutation causing Huntington's disease made possible the use of predictive testing to identify currently unaffected carriers. Concerns have been raised that predictive testing may lead to an increase in deaths by suicide among identified carriers, and these concerns set in motion research to assess the psychological impact of predictive testing for Huntington's disease. This review article provides an overview of the literature and draws implications for clinical practice. About 10%-20% of people at risk request testing when approached by registries or testing centres. Most of the evidence suggests that non-carriers and carriers differ significantly in terms of short term, but not long term, general psychological distress. Adjustment to results was found to depend more on psychological adjustment before testing than the testing result itself. Although risk factors for psychological sequelae have been identified, few adverse events have been described and no obvious contraindications for testing people at risk have been identified. The psychological impact of testing may depend on whether testing was based on linkage analysis or mutation detection. Cohorts enrolled in mutation detection programmes have higher levels of depression before and after testing, compared with people who sought genetic testing when linkage analysis was available. There is evidence that people who choose to be tested are psychologically selected for a favourable response to testing. The impact of testing on people in settings where less intensive counselling protocols and eligibility criteria are used is unknown, and genetic testing is therefore best offered as part of comprehensive specialist counselling.

  14. The phosphodiesterase 10 positron emission tomography tracer, [18F]MNI-659, as a novel biomarker for early Huntington disease.

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    Russell, David S; Barret, Olivier; Jennings, Danna L; Friedman, Joseph H; Tamagnan, Gilles D; Thomae, David; Alagille, David; Morley, Thomas J; Papin, Caroline; Papapetropoulos, Spyridon; Waterhouse, Rikki N; Seibyl, John P; Marek, Kenneth L

    2014-12-01

    In Huntington disease (HD) striatal neuron loss precedes and predicts motor signs or symptoms. Current imaging biomarkers lack adequate sensitivity for assessing the early stages of HD. Developing an imaging biomarker for HD spanning the time of onset of motor signs remains a major unmet research need. Intracellular proteins whose expression is altered by the mutant huntingtin protein may be superior markers for early HD stages. To evaluate whether [18F]MNI-659 (2-(2-(3-(4-(2-[18F]fluoroethoxy)phenyl)-7-methyl-4-oxo-3,4-dihydroquinazolin-2-yl)ethyl)-4-isopropoxyisoindoline-1,3-dione), a novel phosphodiesterase 10 positron emission tomography (PET) ligand, is a sensitive marker for striatal changes in early HD. A cohort of individuals with HD, including premanifest (pre-HD) or manifest with motor signs (mHD), underwent clinical assessments, genetic determination, [18F]MNI-659 PET imaging, and brain magnetic resonance imaging. Age-matched healthy volunteers (HVs) also received clinical assessments and PET and magnetic resonance imaging. Binding potentials (BPnds) were estimated for brain regions of interest, specifically within the basal ganglia, and compared between participants with HD and the HVs and correlated with markers of HD severity and atrophy of basal ganglia nuclei. Eleven participants with HD (8 mHD and 3 pre-HD) and 9 HVs participated. Ten of 11 HD participants had known huntingtin CAG repeat length, allowing determination of a burden of pathology (BOP) score. One individual with HD declined CAG determination. All participants with mHD had relatively early-stage disease (4 with stage 1 and 4 with stage 2) and a Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) total Motor subscale score of less than 50. The HD cohort had significantly lower striatal [18F]MNI-659 uptake than did the HV cohort (mean, -48.4%; P disease measured by the clinical scale (UHDRS Motor subscale; R = 0.903; P disease in early mHD. Furthermore, [18F]MNI-659 may identify early

  15. Large-scale phenome analysis defines a behavioral signature for Huntington's disease genotype in mice.

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    Alexandrov, Vadim; Brunner, Dani; Menalled, Liliana B; Kudwa, Andrea; Watson-Johnson, Judy; Mazzella, Matthew; Russell, Ian; Ruiz, Melinda C; Torello, Justin; Sabath, Emily; Sanchez, Ana; Gomez, Miguel; Filipov, Igor; Cox, Kimberly; Kwan, Mei; Ghavami, Afshin; Ramboz, Sylvie; Lager, Brenda; Wheeler, Vanessa C; Aaronson, Jeff; Rosinski, Jim; Gusella, James F; MacDonald, Marcy E; Howland, David; Kwak, Seung

    2016-08-01

    Rapid technological advances for the frequent monitoring of health parameters have raised the intriguing possibility that an individual's genotype could be predicted from phenotypic data alone. Here we used a machine learning approach to analyze the phenotypic effects of polymorphic mutations in a mouse model of Huntington's disease that determine disease presentation and age of onset. The resulting model correlated variation across 3,086 behavioral traits with seven different CAG-repeat lengths in the huntingtin gene (Htt). We selected behavioral signatures for age and CAG-repeat length that most robustly distinguished between mouse lines and validated the model by correctly predicting the repeat length of a blinded mouse line. Sufficient discriminatory power to accurately predict genotype required combined analysis of >200 phenotypic features. Our results suggest that autosomal dominant disease-causing mutations could be predicted through the use of subtle behavioral signatures that emerge in large-scale, combinatorial analyses. Our work provides an open data platform that we now share with the research community to aid efforts focused on understanding the pathways that link behavioral consequences to genetic variation in Huntington's disease.

  16. Clinical and genetic analysis of 29 Brazilian patients with Huntington's disease-like phenotype

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    Guilherme Riccioppo Rodrigues

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Huntington's disease (HD is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by chorea, behavioral disturbances and dementia, caused by a pathological expansion of the CAG trinucleotide in the HTT gene. Several patients have been recognized with the typical HD phenotype without the expected mutation. The objective of this study was to assess the occurrence of diseases such as Huntington's disease-like 2 (HDL2, spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA 1, SCA2, SCA3, SCA7, dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy (DRPLA and chorea-acanthocytosis (ChAc among 29 Brazilian patients with a HD-like phenotype. In the group analyzed, we found 3 patients with HDL2 and 2 patients with ChAc. The diagnosis was not reached in 79.3% of the patients. HDL2 was the main cause of the HD-like phenotype in the group analyzed, and is attributable to the African ancestry of this population. However, the etiology of the disease remains undetermined in the majority of the HD negative patients with HD-like phenotype.

  17. Translating therapies for Huntington's disease from genetic animal models to clinical trials.

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    Hersch, Steven M; Ferrante, Robert J

    2004-07-01

    Genetic animal models of inherited neurological diseases provide an opportunity to test potential treatments and explore their promise for translation to humans experiencing these diseases. Therapeutic trials conducted in mouse models of Huntington's disease have identified a growing number of potential therapies that are candidates for clinical trials. Although it is very exciting to have these candidates, there has been increasing concern about the feasibility and desirability of taking all of the compounds that may work in mice and testing them in patients with HD. There is a need to begin to prioritize leads emerging from transgenic mouse studies; however, it is difficult to compare results between compounds and laboratories, and there are also many additional factors that can affect translation to humans. Among the important issues are what constitutes an informative genetic model, what principals should be followed in designing and conducting experiments using genetic animal models, how can results from different laboratories and in different models be compared, what body of evidence is desirable to fully inform clinical decision making, and what factors contribute to the equipoise in determining whether preclinical information about a therapy makes clinical study warranted. In the context of Huntington's disease, we will review the current state of genetic models and their successes in putting forward therapeutic leads, provide a guide to assessing studies in mouse models, and discuss some of the salient issues related to translation from mice to humans.

  18. A Darwinian approach to Huntington's disease: subtle health benefits of a neurological disorder.

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    Eskenazi, Benjamin R; Wilson-Rich, Noah S; Starks, Philip T

    2007-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that, unlike most autosomal dominant disorders, is not being selected against. One explanation for the maintenance of the mutant HD allele is that it is transparent to natural selection because disease symptoms typically occur subsequent to an individual's peak reproductive years. While true, this observation does not explain the population-level increase in HD. The increase in HD is at least partly the result of enhanced fitness: HD+ individuals have more offspring than unaffected relatives. This phenomenon has previously been explained as the result of elevated promiscuity of HD+ individuals. For this to be true, disease symptoms must be expressed during the otherwise asymptomatic peak reproductive years and promiscuity must increase offspring production; however, neither prediction is supported by data. Instead, new data suggest that the mutant HD allele bestows health benefits on its carriers. HD+ individuals show elevated levels of the tumor suppressor protein p53 and experience significantly less cancer than unaffected siblings. We hypothesize that the mutant HD allele elevates carriers' immune activity and thus HD+ individuals are, on average, healthier than HD- individuals during reproductive years. As health and reproductive output are positively related, data suggest a counterintuitive relationship: health benefits may lead to an increased prevalence of Huntington's disease.

  19. Induced neural stem cells as a means of treatment in Huntington's disease.

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    Choi, Kyung-Ah; Hong, Sunghoi

    2017-08-09

    Huntington's disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disease characterized by chorea, dementia, and depression caused by progressive nerve cell degeneration, which is triggered by expanded CAG repeats in the huntingtin (Htt) gene. Currently, there is no cure for this disease, nor is there an effective medicine available to delay or improve the physical, mental, and behavioral severities caused by it. Areas covered: In this review, the authors describe the use of induced neural stem cells (iNSCs) by direct conversion technology, which offers great advantages as a therapeutic cell type to treat HD. Expert opinion: Cell conversion of somatic cells into a desired stem cell type is one of the most promising treatments for HD because it could be facilitated for the generation of patient-specific neural stem cells. The induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have a powerful potential for differentiation into neurons, but they may cause teratoma formation due to an undifferentiated pluripotent stem cell after transplantation Therefore, direct conversion of somatic cells into iNSCs is a promising alternative technology in regenerative medicine and the iNSCs may be provided as a therapeutic cell source for Huntington's disease.

  20. Insights into gait disorders: walking variability using phase plot analysis, Huntington's disease.

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    Collett, Johnny; Esser, Patrick; Khalil, Hanan; Busse, Monica; Quinn, Lori; DeBono, Katy; Rosser, Anne; Nemeth, Andrea H; Dawes, Helen

    2014-09-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive inherited neurodegenerative disorder. Identifying sensitive methodologies to quantitatively measure early motor changes have been difficult to develop. This exploratory observational study investigated gait variability and symmetry in HD using phase plot analysis. We measured the walking of 22 controls and 35 HD gene carriers (7 premanifest (PreHD)), 16 early/mid (HD1) and 12 late stage (HD2) in Oxford and Cardiff, UK. The unified Huntington's disease rating scale-total motor scores (UHDRS-TMS) and disease burden scores (DBS) were used to quantify disease severity. Data was collected during a clinical walk test (8.8 or 10 m) using an inertial measurement unit attached to the trunk. The 6 middle strides were used to calculate gait variability determined by spatiotemporal parameters (co-efficient of variation (CoV)) and phase plot analysis. Phase plots considered the variability in consecutive wave forms from vertical movement and were quantified by SDA (spatiotemporal variability), SDB (temporal variability), ratio ∀ (ratio SDA:SDB) and Δangleβ (symmetry). Step time CoV was greater in manifest HD (p0.05). Phase plot analysis identified differences between manifest HD and controls for SDB, Ratio ∀ and Δangle (all pplot analysis may be a sensitive method of detecting gait changes in HD and can be performed quickly during clinical walking tests.

  1. Multivariate clustering of progression profiles reveals different depression patterns in prodromal Huntington disease.

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    Kim, Ji-in; Long, Jeffrey D; Mills, James A; McCusker, Elizabeth; Paulsen, Jane S

    2015-11-01

    Although Huntington disease (HD) is caused by an autosomal dominant mutation, its phenotypic presentation differs widely. Variability in clinical phenotypes of HD may reflect the existence of disease subtypes. This hypothesis was tested in prodromal participants from the longitudinal Neurobiological Predictors of Huntington Disease (PREDICT-HD) study. We performed clustering using longitudinal data assessing motor, cognitive, and depression symptoms. Using data from 521 participants with 2,716 data points, we fit growth mixture models (GMM) that identify groups based on multivariate trajectories. In various GMM, different phases of disease progression were partitioned by progression trajectories of motor and cognitive signs, and by overall level of depression symptoms. More progressed motor signs were accompanied by more progressed cognitive signs, but not always by higher levels of depressive symptoms. In several models, there were at least 2 groups with similar trajectories for motor and cognitive signs that showed different levels for depression symptoms-one with a very low level of depression and the other with a higher level of depression. Findings indicate that at least intermediate HD progression might be associated with different levels of depression. Depression is one of the few symptoms that is treatable in HD and has implications for clinical care. Identification of potential depression subtypes may also help to select appropriate patients for clinical trials. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  2. Derivation of Huntington Disease affected Genea046 human embryonic stem cell line

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    Biljana Dumevska

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The Genea046 human embryonic stem cell line was derived from a donated, fully commercially consented ART blastocyst, carrying HTT gene CAG expansion of 45 repeats, indicative of Huntington Disease. Following ICM outgrowth on inactivated human feeders, karyotype was confirmed as 46, XX by CGH and STR analysis demonstrated a female Allele pattern. The hESC line had pluripotent cell morphology, 85% of cells expressed Nanog, 92% Oct4, 75% Tra1–60 and 99% SSEA4 and demonstrated Alkaline Phosphatase activity. The cell line was negative for Mycoplasma and visible contamination.

  3. A Case of Juvenile Huntington Disease in a 6-Year-Old Boy

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    Jun-Sang Sunwoo

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Huntington disease is a neurodegenerative disorder distinguished by the triad of dominant inheritance, choreoathetosis and dementia, usually with onset in the fourth and fifth decades. It is caused by an unstable cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG trinucleotide repeat expansion in the gene IT15 in locus 4p16.3. Juvenile HD that constitutes about 3% to 10% of all patients is clinically different from adult-onset form and characterized by a larger number of CAG repeats typically exceeding 60. We report a case of a 6-year-old boy with myoclonic seizure and 140 CAG repeats confirmed by molecular genetic analysis.

  4. High prevalence of diabetes mellitus in a five-generation Chinese family with Huntington's disease.

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    Hu, Yueqing; Liang, Jingyao; Yu, Shengyuan

    2014-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) is associated with diabetes mellitus (DM) in population studies, but no case has been reported in a large HD family. We report a case of a five-generation Chinese family who is afflicted by both HD and DM. The prevalence of DM in HD of this family was high (72.7%). The diagnosis of HD in 11 family members was confirmed by the genetic test of the proband who had 42 CAG repeats. Furthermore, the proband's daughter had abnormal locus at G3460T in MT-ND1 among mtDNA genome. Our case report suggests a genetic link between HD and DM.

  5. Physical therapy and exercise interventions in Huntington's disease: a mixed methods systematic review protocol.

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    Quinn, Lori; Busse, Monica; Carrier, Judith; Fritz, Nora; Harden, Jane; Hartel, Lynda; Kegelmeyer, Deb; Kloos, Anne; Rao, Ashwini

    2017-07-01

    The review seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of physical therapy and exercise interventions in Huntington's disease (HD). The review question is: What is the effectiveness of physiotherapy and therapeutic exercise interventions in people with HD, and what are patients', families' and caregivers' perceptions of these interventions?The specific objectives are:This mixed methods review seeks to develop an aggregated synthesis of quantitative, qualitative and narrative systematic reviews on physiotherapy and exercise interventions in HD, in an attempt to derive conclusions and recommendations useful for clinical practice and policy decision-making.

  6. The impact of oculomotor functioning on neuropsychological performance in Huntington disease.

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    Carvalho, Janessa O; Long, Jeffrey D; Westervelt, Holly J; Smith, Megan M; Bruce, Jared M; Kim, Ji-In; Mills, James A; Paulsen, Jane S

    2016-01-01

    Huntington disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative condition with prominent motor (including oculomotor), cognitive, and psychiatric effects. While neuropsychological deficits are present in HD, motor impairments may impact performance on neuropsychological measures, especially those requiring a speeded response, as has been demonstrated in multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia. The current study is the first to explore associations between oculomotor functions and neuropsychological performance in HD. Participants with impaired oculomotor functioning performed worse than those with normal oculomotor functioning on cognitive tasks requiring oculomotor involvement, particularly on psychomotor speed tasks, controlling for covariates. Consideration of oculomotor dysfunction on neuropsychological performance is critical, particularly for populations with motor deficits.

  7. Impulsivity trait in the early symptomatic BACHD transgenic rat model of Huntington disease.

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    Manfré, Giuseppe; Doyère, Valérie; Bossi, Simon; Riess, Olaf; Nguyen, Huu Phuc; El Massioui, Nicole

    2016-02-15

    Impulsivity trait was characterized in 3-5 months old BACHD rats, a transgenic model of Huntington disease, using (1) the delay discounting task to assess cognitive/choice impulsivity, and (2) the Differential Reinforcement of Low Rate of Responding task to evaluate motor/action impulsivity. Transgenic animals showed a high level of choice impulsivity and, to a lesser extent, action impulsivity. Our results provide the first evidence that the transgenic BACHD rat (TG5 line) displays impulsivity disorder as early as 3 months old, as described in early symptomatic HD patients, thus adding to the face validity of the rat model. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Spanish Validation of the Problem Behaviors Assessment-Short (PBA-s) for Huntington's Disease.

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    Ruiz-Idiago, Jesús M; Floriach, Misericordia; Mareca, Cèlia; Salvador, Raymond; López-Sendón, José Luis; Mañanés, Verónica; Cubo, Esther; Mariscal, Natividad; Muñoz, Esteban; Santacruz, Pilar; Noguera, María F; Vivancos, Laura; Roy, Pedro; Pomarol-Clotet, Edith; Sarró, Salvador

    2017-01-01

    A prospective, observational multicenter study was carried out assessing neuropsychiatric symptoms in a sample of 117 subjects in order to validate the Spanish version of the Problem Behaviors Assessment-Short (PBA-s). The psychometric properties of this version were analyzed. Inter- and intra-rater reliability were good: the mean weighted Cohen's kappa was 0.90 for severity scores and 0.93 for frequency scores. Four factors accounting for 56% of the total variance were identified after an exploratory factor analysis: apathy, irritability, depression, and perseveration. The PBA-s correlates strongly with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory, demonstrating its accuracy for assessing neuropsychiatric symptoms in patients with Huntington's disease.

  9. The impact of Juvenile Huntington's Disease on the family: the case of a rare childhood condition.

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    Brewer, Helen M; Eatough, Virginia; Smith, Jonathan A; Stanley, Cath A; Glendinning, Neil W; Quarrell, Oliver W J

    2008-01-01

    There has been little research into the impact of Juvenile Huntington's Disease (JHD) on the family, and the issues facing this group are poorly understood. The study reported here is part of larger project that aimed to address this. Ten semi-structured interviews with the main carer were carried out, and were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). This article reports three themes arising from the study relating to the psychosocial impact of JHD on the family: (1) dealing with something so different; (2) lack of understanding (3) isolation. This information is useful in developing appropriate services for families affected by JHD, as well as being of relevance to other childhood conditions.

  10. WHODAS 2.0 in prodromal Huntington disease: measures of functioning in neuropsychiatric disease.

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    Downing, Nancy R; Kim, Ji-In; Williams, Janet K; Long, Jeffrey D; Mills, James A; Paulsen, Jane S

    2014-08-01

    Clinical trials to improve day-to-day function in Huntington disease (HD) require accurate outcome measures. The DSM-5 recommends the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS) 2.0 for use in neuropsychiatric disorders. The DSM-5 also states proxy measures may be useful when cognitive function may be impaired. We tested WHODAS participant and companion ratings for differences in baseline and longitudinal function in three prodromal HD groups and a control group. Participants with prodromal HD were stratified by disease progression (low, medium, and high disease burden) based on their cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG)-age product (CAP) score. Participant (N=726) and companion (N=630) WHODAS scores were examined for group differences, and for participant versus companion differences using linear mixed effects regression and Akaike's information criterion to test model fit. We also compared WHODAS with the Total Functional Capacity (TFC) scale. At baseline, functioning on the WHODAS was rated worse by participants in the high group and companions compared with controls. For longitudinal changes, companions reported functional decline over time in the medium and high groups. In simultaneous analysis, participant and companion longitudinal trajectories showed divergence in the high group, suggesting reduced validity of self-report. The WHODAS showed greater longitudinal difference than the TFC in the medium group relative to controls, whereas the TFC showed greater longitudinal difference than WHODAS in the high group. Results suggest the WHODAS can identify baseline and longitudinal differences in prodromal HD and may be useful in HD clinical trials. Companions may provide more accurate data as the disease progresses.

  11. Intravitreal administration of HA-1077, a ROCK inhibitor, improves retinal function in a mouse model of huntington disease.

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    Mei Li

    Full Text Available Huntington disease (HD is an inherited neurodegenerative disease that affects multiple brain regions. It is caused by an expanded polyglutamine tract in huntingtin (Htt. The development of therapies for HD and other neurodegenerative diseases has been hampered by multiple factors, including the lack of clear therapeutic targets, and the cost and complexity of testing lead compounds in vivo. The R6/2 HD mouse model is widely used for pre-clinical trials because of its progressive and robust neural dysfunction, which includes retinal degeneration. Profilin-1 is a Htt binding protein that inhibits Htt aggregation. Its binding to Htt is regulated by the rho-associated kinase (ROCK, which phosphorylates profilin at Ser-137. ROCK is thus a therapeutic target in HD. The ROCK inhibitor Y-27632 reduces Htt toxicity in fly and mouse models. Here we characterized the progressive retinopathy of R6/2 mice between 6-19 weeks of age to determine an optimal treatment window. We then tested a clinically approved ROCK inhibitor, HA-1077, administered intravitreally via liposome-mediated drug delivery. HA-1077 increased photopic and flicker ERG response amplitudes in R6/2 mice, but not in wild-type littermate controls. By targeting ROCK with a new inhibitor, and testing its effects in a novel in vivo model, these results validate the in vivo efficacy of a therapeutic candidate, and establish the feasibility of using the retina as a readout for CNS function in models of neurodegenerative disease.

  12. Relationship of Mediterranean diet and caloric intake to phenoconversion in Huntington disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marder, Karen; Gu, Yian; Eberly, Shirley; Tanner, Caroline M; Scarmeas, Nikolaos; Oakes, David; Shoulson, Ira

    2013-11-01

    Adherence to Mediterranean-type diet (MeDi) may delay onset of Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases. Whether adherence to MeDi affects time to phenoconversion in Huntington disease (HD), a highly penetrant, single-gene disorder, is unknown. To determine if MeDi modifies the time to clinical onset of HD (phenoconversion) in premanifest carriers participating in Prospective Huntington at Risk Observational Study (PHAROS), and to examine the effects of body mass index and caloric intake on time to phenoconversion. A prospective cohort study of 41 Huntington study group sites in the United States and Canada involving 1001 participants enrolled in PHAROS between July 1999 and January 2004 who were followed up every 9 months until 2010. A total of 211 participants aged 26 to 57 years had an expanded CAG repeat length (≥ 37). A semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire was administered 33 months after baseline. We calculated daily gram intake for dairy, meat, fruit, vegetables, legumes, cereals, fish, monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids, and alcohol and constructed MeDi scores (0-9); higher scores indicate higher adherence. Demographics, medical history, body mass index, and Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS) score were collected. Cox proportional hazards regression models to determine the association of MeDi and phenoconversion. RESULTS Age, sex, caloric intake, education status, and UHDRS motor scores did not differ among MeDi tertiles (0-3, 4-5, and 6-9). The highest body mass index was associated with the lowest adherence to MeDi. Thirty-one participants phenoconverted. In a model adjusted for age, CAG repeat length, and caloric intake, MeDi was not associated with phenoconversion (P for trend = 0.14 for tertile of MeDi, and P = .22 for continuous MeDi). When individual components of MeDi were analyzed, higher dairy consumption (hazard ratio, 2.36; 95% CI, 1.0-5.57; P = .05) and higher caloric intake (P = .04) were associated with risk of

  13. 长时程深部脑刺激外侧苍白球对转基因Huntington病大鼠认知和运动的影响%COGNITIVE AND MOTOR OUTCOME AFTER LONG-TERM GLOBUS PALLIDUS EXTERNA DEEP BRAIN STIMULATION TO TRANSGENIC HUNTINGTON'S DISEASE RAT

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    曹春燕; Yasin Temel; Arjan Blokland; Veerle Visser-Vandewalle; Harry W. M. Steinbusch; 陈生弟; 刘振国

    2006-01-01

    我们研究了深部脑刺激(deep brain stimulation,DBS)对转基因Huntington病大鼠认知能力和运动功能的影响.实验结果表明:电极植入手术能改善Huntington病大鼠的认知能力,例如:在选择反应时间实验(choice reaction time task,CRTtask)中,反应准确率增加,偏倚率减少.但对不同基因型大鼠,改善程度相同.在对大鼠外侧苍白球部(GPe)进行长时间深部脑刺激后,反应准确率增加,不同基因型大鼠的增加幅度有所不同.另外,深部脑刺激后,CRT实验中的运动时间和反应时间并没有变化.但是纯合子大鼠的舞蹈样运动明显改善.本研究结果表明深部脑刺激转基因Huntington病大鼠的GPe能明显改善其认知能力和运动功能,这预示着DBS在Huntington病的治疗中将有很大的应用前景.%In this study, we treated transgenic Huntington's disease (tgHD) model rat with deep brain stimulation (DBS) and evaluated the cognitive and motor outcome. The results showed that the surgery of implanting electrode improved cognition, increased correct rate and decreased response bias in choice reaction time (CRT) task, with similar extent on various genotypes. After long-term DBS to globus pallidus externa( GPe), correct rate was enhanced. The enhancement was genotype related. Additionally, the motor time and reaction time in CRT task reflecting the movement initiation kept the same value, but the chorea-form movement of homozygous rats was rectified prominently after the treatment of DBS. The present results demonstrated that the operation of long-term DBS to globus pallidus externa can improve the cognition and motor outcome of tgHD rats, which implied DBS operation might shed light on HD patients in the future.

  14. Nonparametric modeling and analysis of association between Huntington's disease onset and CAG repeats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Yanyuan; Wang, Yuanjia

    2014-04-15

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder with a dominant genetic mode of inheritance caused by an expansion of CAG repeats on chromosome 4. Typically, a longer sequence of CAG repeat length is associated with increased risk of experiencing earlier onset of HD. Previous studies of the association between HD onset age and CAG length have favored a logistic model, where the CAG repeat length enters the mean and variance components of the logistic model in a complex exponential-linear form. To relax the parametric assumption of the exponential-linear association to the true HD onset distribution, we propose to leave both mean and variance functions of the CAG repeat length unspecified and perform semiparametric estimation in this context through a local kernel and backfitting procedure. Motivated by including family history of HD information available in the family members of participants in the Cooperative Huntington's Observational Research Trial (COHORT), we develop the methodology in the context of mixture data, where some subjects have a positive probability of being risk free. We also allow censoring on the age