A recent study reports that healthy human tissue grafted to the brains of patients with Huntington's disease in the hopes of treating the neurological disorder also developed signs of the illness, several years after the graft.
The study got published in Annals of Neurology. This discovery will have profound implications on our understanding of the disease and how to treat it, and may also lead to the development of new therapies for neurodegenerative disorders.
Huntington's disease is a hereditary illness that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain, resulting in major motor, cognitive, and psychiatric impairments. It leads to a gradual loss of autonomy and, eventually, to death. The disease typically appears between age 40 and 50. There is no cure and current treatment methods only help control some of the symptoms without slowing down the disease itself.
These findings by Dr. Cicchetti and her colleagues will have profound implications on the understanding of this pathology and how to treat it. It could also lead to the development of new therapies against other more common neurodegenerative disorders of the central nervous system, as well as diseases related to the propagation of pathological proteins, including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.