An early study suggests that a synthetic triglyceride oil called triheptanoin may provide hope for people with Huntington’s disease. The study is published in the January 7, 2015, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.
Huntington’s disease is inherited and causes nerve cells to break down in the brain, especially areas involved in the control of movements, memory and thinking abilities, and emotions and behavior. A child of a parent with Huntington’s disease has a 50 percent chance of developing the disease. Symptoms usually appear between the ages of 30 to 50.
“Our study suggests that this drug in the form of oil may be able to improve the brain metabolic profile in early stages of the disease,” said study author Fanny Mochel, MD, PhD, with Pitié-Salpêtrière University hospital in Paris, France. “Although the results should be taken with great caution because researchers and participants in the study knew whether or not they were getting the drug, we saw improvement in movement and motor skills in people with Huntington’s after one month of therapy.”
For the study, researchers used MRI brain scans to analyze the energy profile before, during and after the brain was visually stimulated in nine people in the early stages of Huntington’s disease and 13 people without the disease. The average age of the participants was 46. The test was then repeated one month later. In the people without the disease, the brain’s metabolism increased during the stimulation, then returned to the normal level. In people with Huntington’s disease, there was no change in metabolism.
For the second part of the study, only people with Huntington’s disease received triheptanoin, a compound made up of special fatty acids that can provide alternative energy to glucose in the brain. The 10 participants, which included five of the participants in the first part of the study, had the flavorless, odorless oil during meals three or four times a day for a month. Then they had the visual stimulation test again. The brain metabolism was now normal.
“If confirmed in other studies, the findings may be hopeful for people who have the family gene for Huntington’s and will eventually develop the disease,” Mochel said.
The study was supported by Ipsen and the French National Institute of Health and Research. Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. provided the investigational drug triheptanoin for the study.
To learn more about Huntington’s disease, please visit www.aan.com/patients
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 28,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com
Rachel L. Seroka | American Academy of Neurology
Infants later diagnosed with autism follow adults’ gaze, but seldom initiate joint attention
24.05.2019 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council
When wheels and heads are spinning - DFG research project on motion sickness in automated driving
22.05.2019 | Technische Universität Berlin
A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.
The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...
Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.
The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
24.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
24.05.2019 | Medical Engineering
24.05.2019 | Life Sciences