Today marks the start of Huntington’s Disease Awareness Week, a campaign to increase the profile of a much misunderstood condition.
Throughout the week we are planning to publish a series of case studies highlighting the variety of Huntington’s disease research taking place at the University, the scientists carrying out the research, and the impact the disease can have on peoples’ lives.
A hereditary disorder, Huntington’s disease is a little known neurodegenerative condition caused by a single faulty gene that attacks the brain’s central nervous system, with damage impacting a person’s ability to speak, walk, and feel.
According to Huntington’s Disease Association, a national charity that supports people affected by HD, around 28,480 people live with a high genetic risk of inheriting Huntington’s disease in England and Wales.
A child whose parent has HD has a 50% chance of inheriting the gene that causes this currently incurable disorder. It doesn’t skip a generation, and a child who tests HD positive will, at some point, develop symptoms of the disease.
Raising the profile of Huntington’s research
This week we will be exploring the MRI research being conducted by Dr Hannah Furby, the cognitive work being led by Dr Emma Yhnell and the stem cell research undertaken by Jasmine Donaldson, a PhD student supervised by Professor Lesley Jones.
We will also be using Twitter to highlight our research, the facts about Huntington’s disease and some of the support available to families with the condition. You can either follow our campaign on @neurosciencecu or keep up with the wider campaign using #HDawarenessweek.