Arches. Photo by Daniel Chia
HOPES: Huntington's Outreach Project for Education, at Stanford
Apr
15
2013

HOPES is hiring! Apply now!

The Huntington’s Outreach Project for Education, at Stanford (HOPES) is an educational service project working to build a web resource on Huntington’s disease (HD).  Our mission is to make scientific information about HD more readily accessible to patients, their families, and the general public. We are currently hiring student researchers (writers), graphic designers, and web [...]

Aug
30
2011

Insurance and HD

Healthcare reform has been a hot topic in the United States in recent years, and many important changes are continually being made. In this article, we will take a look at some alterations that are particularly relevant to HD patients and their families. The first half of the article discusses the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act [...]

Jul
02
2011

About Lifestyle and Huntington’s Disease

Even when a person is at risk for developing HD there are many things he or she can do about it. Yes, everyone with the HD allele allele will eventually display symptoms of HD. However, the expression of these symptoms is subject to great variability. For example, studies of the HD population in Venezuela revealed [...]

Jun
30
2011

About Disease Mechanisms

Welcome to the "Drugs and Supplements" section of the HOPES website! Articles within this section will frequently use the terms "treatment" and "cure." Please note, though, that the word "treatment" must not be confused with the word "cure," for there is currently no medical cure for Huntington's Disease (HD).

Jun
30
2011

About Huntington’s Disease and Serotonin

Serotonin (also known as 5-HT) is a neurotransmitter used to communicate important information between nerve cells. Serotonin is sometimes referred to as the “feel good” neurotransmitter owing to its association with elevated mood levels. It also has many other functions in the central nervous system including roles in sleep, depression, memory, pain, and aggression. Recent [...]

Jun
29
2011

About Free Radical Damage

Aside from impaired energy production, damage to the mitochondria leads also to increased production of toxic molecules called free radicals. Compounds called antioxidants act as free radical scavengers by initiating reactions that make free radicals non-toxic to cells. Evidence indicates that damage by free radicals is a contributing factor to the pathology of HD. Consequently, [...]

Jun
26
2011

The Basics of Huntington’s Disease (Text and Audio)

Huntington’s disease (often abbreviated “HD”) was first described in medical literature in 1872 by Dr. George Huntington, a physician from Long Island, New York. The disease affects men and women alike, occurring at a rate of about one in every 10,000 in most Western countries. People with HD need dedicated care and support from their loved ones, which makes the number of lives touched by the disease even greater.

Jun
26
2011

About Protein Aggregation

The altered huntingtin protein responsible for HD has been shown to contain many more molecules of the amino acid glutamine than regular huntingtin. This abundance of glutamine is due to repetitive copies of the CAG codon in the Huntington gene. The extended glutamine tracts of these proteins have affinity for one another, and tend to [...]

Jun
26
2011

About Changes in Gene Transcription

Compounds that have the ability to regulate the transcription of specific sets of genes are being proposed as possible candidates for treating HD. Some of these compounds may be able to regulate genes to produce proteins that could delay various HD symptoms. For example, some of the drugs could induce the transcription of genes responsible for the production of proteins with anti-inflammatory effects.

Jun
26
2011

About Abnormalities in Energy Metabolism

The mutant huntingtin protein has been found to disrupt cellular metabolism, the process by which cells make energy. It interacts with key proteins needed to produce energy and causes damage to mitochondria, the ‘energy factory’ of the cell. Mitochondria produce energy in the form of molecules known as ATP (for “adenosine triphosphate”). The amount of [...]