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Huntington's disease affects not only neurons, but also small vessels of the brain


Neurophysiologists have discovered new evidence that Huntington's disease is not only accompanied by massive destruction of neurons, but also by disruptions in the work of small blood vessels in the brain, which significantly worsens the supply of oxygen to the brain. This was reported by the press service of Lancaster University (Britain). "Scientists discovered that Huntington's disease affects not only nerve cells, but also small vessels of the brain. Observations have shown that changes in the functioning of cerebral vessels occur even before the first visible symptoms of Huntington's disease appear, which can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of therapies for early detection of the disease and lifestyle changes," the report said. The discovery was made by a group of neurophysiologists. led by Professor Aneta Stefanovskaya of Lancaster University, the brain function of 30 carriers of the disease and the same number of healthy volunteers was observed. The scientists followed the brain activity of the patients with the help of an infrared spectroscope and an electroencephalograph, and also studied the work of their heart and lungs. The researchers explained that they were interested in the interaction of the brain and the blood circulation system in the sense of a recent discovery made by biologists. It was found that brain neurons contain a large amount of HTT protein, the synthesis of which is disturbed in people with Huntington's disease. This has led scientists to the idea that the onset of the disease can create disruptions in the work of cells and in the supply of oxygen to the brain. In people with Huntington's disease, the rhythms of the activity of nerve cells, the pulses of the vessels and the work of the respiratory organs are not synchronized with each other, which leads to problems with oxygen. in the provision of the brain. This was not typical for healthy volunteers, in whom all these rhythms were synchronized. According to the researchers, this feature of Huntington's disease can be used as a biomarker that will allow non-invasive and timely detection of the first signs of its occurrence. In addition, the discovery indicates that therapies should not only slow down the destruction of neurons, but also restore the function of small blood vessels in the brain. Huntington's disease is a severe disease of the nervous system associated with the appearance of mutations in the HTT gene. The excessive number of genetic repetitions within the gene leads to the fact that at around the age of 30-50 the neurons of the brain begin to die, as a result of which the sufferers gradually lose control of the movements of the limbs, and later the cognitive functions of the brain are also impaired.

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