Markers could help track response to new therapies, protective strategies
A survey of the genome of patients with Huntingtons Disease (HD) has identified potential markers of the progression of this devastating neurological disorder. Researchers from the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disorders (MIND) found a set of genes that are expressed at higher levels in blood samples from people with HD than in samples from controls. The expression of these genes also rose as the disease progressed from asymptomatic to symptomatic stage. The study has been published in the August 2 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
"These biomarkers may be valuable in monitoring patients response to experimental treatments," says Dimiti Krainc, MD, PhD, of MIND and the MGH Department of Neurology. "Since these changes can be seen at the earliest stages of the disease, they may be particularly helpful in evaluating neuroprotective strategies that could be applied before symptoms develop."
Sue McGreevey | EurekAlert!
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