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 iPSC-based drug screening for Huntington's disease. Brain Res. 2016 May 01;1638(Pt A):42-56 Authors: Zhang N, Bailus BJ, Ring KL, Ellerby LM Abstract 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. PMID: 26428226 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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Related Articles Is there a place for human fetal-derived stem cells for cell replacement therapy in Huntington's disease? Neurochem Int. 2017 Jan 27;: Authors: Precious SV, Zietlow R, Dunnett SB, Kelly CM, Rosser AE Abstract Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disease that offers an excellent paradigm for cell replacement therapy because of the associated relatively focal cell loss in the striatum. The predominant cells lost in this condition are striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs). Transplantation of developing MSNs taken from the fetal brain has provided proof of concept that donor MSNs can survive, integrate and bring about a degree of functional recovery in both pre-clinical studies and in a limited number of clinical trials. The scarcity of human fetal tissue, and the logistics of coordinating collection and dissection of tissue with neurosurgical procedures makes the use of fetal tissue for this purpose both complex and limiting. Alternative donor cell sources which are expandable in culture prior to transplantation are currently being sought. Two potential donor cell sources which have received most attention recently are embryonic stem (ES) cells and adult induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, both of which can be directed to MSN-like fates, although achieving a genuine MSN fate has proven to be difficult. All potential donor sources have challenges in terms of their clinical application for regenerative medicine, and thus it is important to continue exploring a wide variety of expandable cells. In this review we discuss two less well-reported potential donor cell sources; embryonic germ (EG) cells and fetal neural precursors (FNPs), both are which are fetal-derived and have some properties that could make them useful for regenerative medicine applications. PMID: 28137534 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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