A significant medical discovery is now available in the form of a drug for treating Huntington’s disease.
What is Huntington’s Disease?
Huntington’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that typically affects adults in their 30s and 40s. The onset of this disease is usually between 25-45 years of age but can occur at any time between 3-70 years. The prevalence of this disease in India is significantly lesser than that in Western countries. However, low prevalence could also sometimes lead to ignorance and late diagnosis of this disease.
Huntington’s disease is caused due to a gene mutation. Therefore, it is genetic and may skip 2-3 generations before appearing again.
Scientists have been tirelessly working to find a cure for Huntington’s. While there are significant breakthroughs in other major neurological illnesses like Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, there was little to no treatment for Huntington’s disease. Therefore, people diagnosed with this disease eventually died 10 to 20 years after its onset due to its progressively degenerative nature.
However, as per a BBC report after extensive research at University College London, there has been a significant finding in the treatment of Huntington’s disease. In fact, experts say that it is a major breakthrough in neurodegenerative diseases for 50 years.
This drug has been tested to effectively treat the misbehaving gene and stopping it from propagating in the further generations.
How Does the Drug Work?
The instructions for causing Huntington’s disease are locked inside the DNA of a cell. They are carried by a messenger RNA which, in turn, causes damaged protein. The new drug kills this messenger RNA, thus preventing the creation of damaged protein.
Doctors and researchers ran multiple clinical tests to check the effectiveness of this drug. These tests proved that the drug is safe for human use and significantly reduces the occurrence of Huntington’s disease in adults.
This drug has come as a major relief for the people with this rare gene mutation as well as their families. The further propagation via children also stops, giving immense happiness to the parents as well as the children.
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