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Ontario researchers find possible way to treat Huntington's disease

Written by: Jonathan Sher, QMI Agency
Jan. 9, 2014

More than 20 years after researchers unmasked the protein responsible for Huntington's disease, an Ontario scientist has found a way that might protect its victims. (Fotolia)


More than 20 years after researchers unmasked the mutant protein responsible for Huntington's disease, a London, Ont., scientist has found a way that might protect its victims.

The approach worked so well in mice with the mutant protein, they could keep their balance on a spinning rod twice as long as could healthy mice.

Working with a former colleague now in Brazil, Stephen Ferguson, a scientist at Western University’s Robarts Research Institute, targeted one part of the complex process that may be involved in the disease's progression. It's a receptor on the outer membranes of cells that senses chemical signals and triggers changes within the cells.

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When the receptor was removed from mice, they moved well even with the mutated Huntington's protein.

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