Can Stem Cells Aid in Finding a Cure for Huntington's Disease?

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Information about Can Stem Cells Aid in Finding a Cure for Huntington's Disease?
Health & Medicine

Published on February 4, 2014

Author: AntonvanDellen

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Currently serving as a barrister with the London-based Holborn Chambers, Anton van Dellen has an extensive academic history in neurological research. As a Fellow at the University of Oxford, Anton van Dellen published numerous peer-reviewed articles focused on neurophysiology and, in 1999, conducted research about the onset of Huntington’s disease at the Society for Neuroscience in Los Angeles.

By Anton Van Dellen

 Currently serving as a barrister with the London-based Holborn Chambers, Anton van Dellen has an extensive academic history in neurological research. As a Fellow at the University of Oxford, Anton van Dellen published numerous peer-reviewed articles focused on neurophysiology and, in 1999, conducted research about the onset of Huntington’s disease at the Society for Neuroscience in Los Angeles.

 Huntington’s disease is a fatal degenerative neurological condition. The hereditary disease sets off progressive neurological digression accompanied by a loss of motor and cognitive capabilities. Medium spiny neurons, or MSNs, are lost due to a genetic defect that causes the body’s Huntingtin protein to be generated as toxic and faulty. While no known cure for Huntington’s exists, there is research indicating that the use of stem cell research can provide insight into potential therapies, treatments, and possibly even a method of reversing its effects.

 Stem cell researchers hypothesize that stem cells can be used to research the brain to further understand the disease, to replicate the cells lost, and to generate drugs. If new MSNs could be grown to test treatments, or cells could be generated to replace the degenerated ones, there could be potential for reversing the disease’s effects. Furthermore, if research could be conducted on stem cells using models of the faulty gene responsible for its onset, researchers could get a glimpse at how the mutagen works and how it can be stopped.

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