The Mechanisms of Huntington’s Disease

karyotype

Huntington’s Disease is a neurodegenerative genetic disorder.  The degradation of neurons in Huntington’s leads to an inability to control movements, emotional disturbances and a general lessening in metal facilities.  The disorder is caused dominant mutation in the gene huntingin which codes for a protein that is also called huntingin.  A mutation in the protein leads to destruction in the neurons which eventually causes damage to specific areas of the brain.

This summer I will be examining the different mechanisms that cause cause Huntington’s.  It is a multifaceted disease so I intend to study it on all levels (gene, protein, neurons, brain) using computer modeling and databases.  I will also be looking at the various ethical aspects Huntington’s, specifically the genetic test for the disease.  Since Huntington’s is genetic it is possible to test for it before the onset of symptoms but there has been much debate over whether such testing is advisable.