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Saturday 24th March 2018

Hope for Huntington's sufferers

7th March 2006

A French team reports that transplanting brain cells into patients with Huntington’s disease produced long-term benefits.

Huntington’s is a genetic disease that is caused by a defect in the gene that produces a protein. Its effects not usually obvious before the age of 30 to 50, by which time many carriers of the gene may have had children and passed on the condition. Anyone carrying the gene will eventually develop the disease, which has no cure.






Researchers at the Henri Mondor Hospital in Paris, carried out foetal-cell transplants in five patients in 1998. They reviewed the patients’ progress after two years and found that movement and brain function had improved in three.  

They now report further on these three in The Lancet Neurology, and suggest that the transplants provided several years of improvement. The treatments did not cure the disease. After plateauing for two years, symptoms began to worsen, although the rate of decline varied.



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