Research is vital in increasing our understanding of HD, improving the quality of life for those impacted by HD, and also providing hope for viable treatments and a cure.
Research continues to progress through the collaboration between you-our community, our invaluable HD researchers and your association. When you participate in research, your contribution not only helps in the study you are involved in, but is often a starting point for new or further research.
Huntington’s Victoria proudly partners with the Huntington’s Research Group of Victoria (HRGV) who are extremely active in HD research. You can view some of the local research below, and find out how you can become involved.
INVESTIGATING THE PERTURBED GUT-MICROBIOME-BRAIN-AXIS IN HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE: A STEP FORWARD IN DEVELOPING NOVEL THERAPEUTIC APPROACHES TO MODIFY DISEASE ONSET AND PROGRESSION
The human gut microbiota (which includes over a trillion bacteria in each of us!) plays a critical role in our overall well-being and is involved in a bidirectional communication with our brain. This crosstalk is termed the ‘gut-microbiome-brain-axis’. Alterations in the gut microbial composition have been reported in other neurological diseases. We (The Hannan Laboratory at the Florey Institute) have previously established an imbalance of the gut microbes population in a Huntington’s disease (HD) mouse model. Those findings have been confirmed in a preliminary study in clinical HD led by our Melbourne collaborators (Prof. Julie Stout and colleagues) at Monash University. Our current interests are in extending those findings by profiling longitudinal changes in the gut microbes in HD. This is important to uncover the potential effects of the HD gene mutation on gut microbial structure during early life, which may have consequences on other HD-related symptoms. In addition, we aim to understand how the gut microbiota could communicate with the HD brain, which will further elucidate the mechanisms mediating the potential modulatory effects of the gut microbiome in HD. Further understanding of the altered gut-microbiome-brain-axis is a step forward towards identifying novel therapeutic targets and new approaches to delay the onset and progression of this brutal disease.
Hannan Laboratory, Florey Institute of Neuroscience of Mental Health
We want to investigate a new app which we hope will assist both patients and health professionals to better understand how someone’s driving is going. On-road driving assessments can be quite expensive, and so we are hoping to improve a specially designed iPad app that could save people from going for an expensive driving assessment before they need to.
Over the past two decades, our research team has played a key role in understanding how the ‘genetic stutter’ causing Huntington’s disease (HD) leads to a cascade of pathological processes, at the levels of molecules, cells, brain circuits, behaviour, cognition and mood. HD is one of a growing number of human diseases known to be caused by such ‘genetic stutters’, which are called tandem repeat disorders (reviewed by Hannan, 2018, Nature Rev. Genet.)
There are currently no effective treatments for apathy (loss of motivation) caused by HD. I am conducting this study to find out whether transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS), a gentle non-invasive brain stimulation technique, can alter brain activity in a way that may be used to increase motivation in people with Huntington’s disease (HD).
Wave Life Sciences PRECISION- HD1 and PRECISION-HD2 Clinical trials Wave Life Sciences are conducting two Phase 1b/2a clinical trials called PRECISION-HD1 and PRECISION-HD2. These trials aim to specifically target and reduce the amount of mutant huntingtin protein produced, whilst leaving the healthy huntingtin protein untouched. The treatments will be administered into the fluid in the […]