Hope for Huntington’s Disease

07 September 2013
By Kat Arney.

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Writing in the journal Nature Genetics, researchers at the University of Leicester have made a discovery that could lead towards a new hope for fighting Huntington's disease - an incurable, degenerative genetic disease affecting the brain. Using a combination of yeast, fruit flies and mammalian cells grown in the lab as models, the researchers found that an enzyme called glutathione peroxidase - which is an antioxidant within our cells - can protect against the sign of Huntington's in these model systems.

The scientists hope their finding could be taken forward to develop a treatment for the disease, which affects thousands of people in the UK and many more worldwide. Importantly, chemicals mimicking the activity of the enzyme are already in clinical trials for other diseases, which might make it quicker for new approaches to be tested in Huntington's patients.

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