RNA interference could be used to cure Huntington's disease, two US scientists have revealed.
Neil Aronin and Philip Zamore of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester have discovered a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in a gene associated with the disease, which is present in about 30 per cent of the population.
The researchers say that the SNP identified by them can be targeted by RNA interference, reports New Scientist magazine.
In their study report, the researchers say that Huntington's patients would be assessed to determine whether they have the SNP, and whether it is linked with the genetic mutation that causes the disease.
If a link is suggested, they say, it may be possible to treat the disorder by administering patients medicines containing an RNA silencing agent, which should switch off the damaging protein's production.
The researchers, however, concede that more research needs to be done before the treatment can be tested on humans.