By: Hannah Devlin Science correspondent |
| Neuroscience | The Guardian
Hailed as ‘enormously significant’, results in groundbreaking trial are first time a drug has been shown to suppress effects of Huntington’s genetic mutation
A landmark trial for Huntington’s disease has announced positive results, suggesting that an experimental drug could become the first to slow the progression of the devastating genetic illness.
The results have been hailed as “enormously significant” because it is the first time any drug has been shown to suppress the effects of the Huntington’s mutation that causes irreversible damage to the brain. Current treatments only help with symptoms, rather than slowing the disease’s progression.
Huntington’s disease is a congenital degenerative condition caused by a single defective gene. Most patients are diagnosed in middle age, with symptoms including mood swings, irritability and depression. As the disease progresses, more serious symptoms can include involuntary jerky movements, cognitive difficulties and issues with speech and swallowing.