Programmed cell death or apoptosis is a program found within in all cells that once triggered leads to activation of caspases, cleavage of specific proteins and eventual death of the injured cell. This is a fundamental biological process essential for development and normal tissue homeostasis. In neurodegenerative diseases, alterations in components of the cell death machinery occur and enhance apoptosis. There is strong evidence to suggest that apoptotic events play a role in the neurodegeneration observed in HD. Work is ongoing to identify inhibitors and test them in cell and animal models of HD.
There are a number of other important Huntington disease research efforts, including stem cell research, also ongoing. Information on these, and current clinical trials, can be found in the websites below.
Websites for information on Huntington's Disease (HD):
European HD Network —
CMMT — cmmt.ubc.ca
HDbuzz — en.hdbuzz.net