LUBBOCK, TX - It is a rare and genetic disease that's affecting an estimated 30,000 Americans. And although there is no cure, there may now be a new sense of hope for those suffering from Huntington's Disease! It comes in the form of a molecule: Mitochondrial Division Inhibitor 1 (Mdivi1).
Researchers at the Texas Tech University Health Science Center led by Dr. Hemachandra Reddy and Senior Research Associate, Dr. Maria Manczak, have made a groundbreaking discovery in the world of medical science. When they discovered the molecule, Mdivi1, they realized that though it could not cure the disease, it could at least greatly help in the treatment process.
Mitochondria are responsible for creating energy needed by the body to sustain life. What Dr. Reddy's research has proven is that Mdivi1 has the capability of reducing mutant-huntingtin induced excessive mitochondrial fragmentation, while at the same time maintaining mitochondrial function and improving synaptic activity in Huntington's disease neurons.
"So for us actually you know, it's exciting and also, it gives us a lot of promise and hope for Huntington's Disease patients and families," said Dr. Reddy.
Dr. Reddy and Dr. Manczak's team of researchers will soon be going through clinical trials testing on mice. Their goal for the new treatment plan to be available to patients within the next five years.
Symptoms of Huntington's Disease include:
- Slight changes in coordination, affecting balance or making you more clumsy
- Fidgety movements that you can't control
- Slowing or stiffness
- Trouble thinking through problems
- Depression or irritability
- Difficulty speaking or swallowing
- Stiff or awkward walking
- Increased clumsiness
- Changes in speech
- Trouble learning new information, or loss of previously learned skills
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