Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New clue on the origin of Huntington's disease

Date:
August 12, 2013
Source:
Lund University
Summary:
The synapses in the brain act as key communication points between approximately one hundred billion neurons. They form a complex network connecting various centres in the brain through electrical impulses. New research suggests that it is precisely here, in the synapses, that Huntington's disease might begin.

The synapses in the brain act as key communication points between approximately one hundred billion neurons. They form a complex network connecting various centres in the brain through electrical impulses. New research from Lund University suggests that it is precisely here, in the synapses, that Huntington's disease might begin.

The researchers at Lund University looked into the brains of mice with real-time imaging methods, following some of the very first stages of the disease through advanced microscopes. What they discovered was an unprecedented degradation of synaptic activity. Long before the well documented nerve cell death, synapses that are important for communication between brain centres that control memory and learning begin to wither. This process has never been mapped before and could be an important step towards understanding the serious non-motor symptoms that affect Huntington patients long before the movement disorders start to show.

"With the naked eye, we have now been able to follow the step by step events when these synapses start to break down. If we are to halt or reverse this process in the future, it is necessary to understand exactly what happens in the initial phase of the disease. Now we know more," says Professor Jia-Yi Li, the research group leader.

Huntington's disease has long been characterized by the involuntary writhing movements faced by patients. But in fact, Huntington's has a very broad and highly individual symptomatology. Depression, memory loss and sleep disorders are all common early on in the disease.

"Many patients testify that these symptoms affect quality of life significantly more than the involuntary jerky movements. Therefore, it is extremely important that we achieve progress in this field of research. Our goal now is to find new therapies that can increase the lifespan of these synapses and maintain their vital function," explains postdoc Reena, who lead the imaging experiments.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lund University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. R. P. Murmu, W. Li, A. Holtmaat, J.-Y. Li. Dendritic Spine Instability Leads to Progressive Neocortical Spine Loss in a Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease. Journal of Neuroscience, 2013; 33 (32): 12997 DOI: 10.1523/%u200BJNEUROSCI.5284-12.2013

Cite This Page:

Lund University. "New clue on the origin of Huntington's disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130812102728.htm>.
Lund University. (2013, August 12). New clue on the origin of Huntington's disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130812102728.htm
Lund University. "New clue on the origin of Huntington's disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130812102728.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins