Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Antioxidants could help Huntington’s Disease sufferers

13.10.2008
Therapeutic strategies to strengthen antioxidant defences could help to prevent the progression of Huntington’s Disease. This is the suggestion from the results of the first ever trial on human samples carried out by researchers at the University of Lleida. The results have been published in the latest issue of Free Radical Biology & Medicine magazine.

A study carried out by Catalan researchers shows that oxidative stress and damage to certain macromolecules are involved in the progression of Huntington’s Disease (HD), which is characterised by psychiatric and cognitive disturbance, involuntary movements (chorea) and dementia.

The research was carried out using human brain samples obtained post mortem from people affected by HD, which were compared with samples from control patients (C) who had died from unrelated illnesses or other causes. The two cerebral areas most affected by this illness – the striate cortex and cortex – were studied.

The samples, which were provided by the tissue bank at the University of Barcelona’s Institute of Neuropathology, were divided into HD-C group pairs based on gender, age, and the length of time after death before the tissue had been removed.

“Bidimensional electrophoresis techniques were used to compare the differences between the proteins present in the brains of the sick people and those of the controls,” said Elisa Cabiscol, professor of biochemistry at the University of Lleida, and one of the report’s authors. “The results showed that more than half of these were enzymes related to antioxidant defence systems.”

This study, which used human samples for the first time and was funded by Spain’s Consolider-Ingenio 2010 Programme, found that the brain tissue from people suffering from HD had elevated levels of proteins that eliminate reactive oxygen species (ROS), or free radicals, as they are more commonly known.

“There is a situation we call oxidative stress in the brains of these patients, and as a result the neurones (and other cells in the brain, such as the glia cells) attempt to defend themselves by increasing their antioxidant defences,” said Cabiscol.

In normal conditions, the balance between ROS generation and antioxidant systems allows cells to function correctly. However, in a situation of oxidative stress, ROS generation exceeds the cells’ defence capacity, causing changes in the cells that ultimately cause them to die.

“Our proteomic study has made clear how important a role oxidative stress plays in this illness, calling for the use of therapeutic strategies that boost antioxidant defences or prevent the formation of ROS, on order to try to halt or slow down the progression of this devastating disease,” added the researcher.

Huntington’s Disease

HD is caused by degeneration of cells in the brain, the neurones, as a result of genetic changes. The symptoms of this disease that runs in families first become apparent in middle age, and it progresses over 15 to 20 years before leading to an inevitable death. Both the speed at which the disease progresses and the age of onset varies from one person to another.

Mutation on the /htt/ gene generates an abnormal protein (huntingtin), which has a ‘polyglutamine tail’. These polyglutamines eventually cause the protein to form aggregates. “What we still don’t understand is the function of this protein, and how the presence of these aggregates causes the neurones in certain areas of the brain to malfunction and die,” said Cabiscol.

Statistical estimates show that one in every 10,000 people suffers from HD, translating into more than 4,000 sufferers in a country such as Spain. However, Montse Torrecilla, secretary of the Spanish Huntington’s Chorea Association (ACHE), says there is a lack of real data on the number of patients. “This is a complex issue, because one has to bear in mind the number of misdiagnoses and people who hide, or are still not aware of, their illness,” she said.

SINC Team | alfa
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>