Stem Cell Treatments for Huntington's Disease

Stem Cell Treatments for Huntington's Disease are Currently Available at SIRM.

Area of the brain most damaged in early Huntington's disease – striatum (shown in purple)

Stem Cell Treatment for Huntingtons

Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative genetic disorder that affects muscle coordination and leads to cognitive decline and dementia. It typically becomes noticeable in middle age. HD is the most common genetic cause of abnormal involuntary writhing movements called chorea, and indeed the disease used to be called Huntington's chorea.

It is much more common in people of Western European descent than in those of Asian or African ancestry. The disease is caused by an autosomal dominant mutation on either of an individual's two copies of a gene called Huntingtin, which means any child of an affected parent has a 50% risk of inheriting the disease. In the rare situations where both parents have an affected copy, the risk increases to 75%, and when either parent has two affected copies, the risk is 100% (all children will be affected). Physical symptoms of Huntington's disease can begin at any age from infancy to old age, but usually begin between 35 and 44 years of age. About 6% of cases start before the age of 21 years with an akinetic-rigid syndrome; they progress faster and vary slightly.

Huntington's Disease treatment studies and stem cell protocols listed below, and at SIRM, we aim to treat Huntington's with Stem Cell Therapy

NIH Streaming Database:

Related Articles Striatal neurons directly converted from Huntington's disease patient fibroblasts recapitulate age-associated disease phenotypes. Nat Neurosci. 2018 03;21(3):341-352 Authors: Victor MB, Richner M, Olsen HE, Lee SW, Monteys AM, Ma C, Huh CJ, Zhang B, Davidson BL, Yang XW, Yoo AS Abstract In Huntington's disease (HD), expansion of CAG codons in the huntingtin gene (HTT) leads to the aberrant formation of protein aggregates and the differential degeneration of striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs). Modeling HD using patient-specific MSNs has been challenging, as neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells are free of aggregates and lack an overt cell death phenotype. Here we generated MSNs from HD patient fibroblasts through microRNA-based direct neuronal conversion, bypassing the induction of pluripotency and retaining age signatures of the original fibroblasts. We found that patient MSNs consistently exhibited mutant HTT (mHTT) aggregates, mHTT-dependent DNA damage, mitochondrial dysfunction and spontaneous degeneration in culture over time. We further provide evidence that erasure of age stored in starting fibroblasts or neuronal conversion of presymptomatic HD patient fibroblasts results in differential manifestation of cellular phenotypes associated with HD, highlighting the importance of age in modeling late-onset neurological disorders. PMID: 29403030 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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