Major Grant For FAU In Attempt To Cure Huntington's Disease

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The scientists at Florida Atlantic University continue to wow the medical world with studies and theories that lead to grants. The latest: The National Institutes of Health and a nearly $430,000 grant to research the horrible effects of Huntington's Disease, often known as HD.

Here is the media advisory from FAU:

Researchers at Florida Atlantic University’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine have discovered a novel mechanism and potential link between mutant huntingtin, cell loss and cell death or apoptosis in the brain, which is responsible for the devastating effects of Huntington’s disease (HD). HD is a fatal, inherited disease caused by abnormal repeats of a small segment in an individual's DNA or genetic code.

Dr. Jianning “Jenny” Wei has received a $428,694 grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue her research to identify the pathways in the brain that are altered in response to mutant proteins, as well as to understand the cellular processes impacted by the disease in order to facilitate the development of effective pharmacological interventions.

Named after American physician George Huntington, HD is characterized by a selective loss of neurons in the brain and affects the basal ganglia, which controls motor control, cognition, learning and emotions. It also affects the outer surface of the brain or the cortex, which controls thought, perception, and memory. It is estimated that more than 250,000 Americans have HD or are at risk of inheriting the disease from an affected parent.