Huntington’s disease DNA growing throughout life and contributing toward disease progression

New research, led by scientists at the University of Glasgow and published in EBioMedicine, reveals that the DNA responsible for Huntington’s disease is not stable throughout life, and that older individuals carry longer versions of the genetic mutation than younger individuals.

The researchers also found that individuals whose genetic mutation grew quickest tended to experience an earlier onset of Huntington’s disease than expected, and also that their disease progressed more rapidly.

Professor Darren Monckton, Professor of Human Genetics, Institute of Molecular Cell & Systems Biology, and senior author of the study, said: “These findings offer us further insights into the mechanisms of Huntington’s disease – how it develops, what causes it to appear earlier and progress more rapidly.

The paper, “A genetic association study of glutamine-encoding DNA sequence structures, somatic CAG expansion, and DNA repair gene variants, with Huntington’s disease clinical outcomes” can be found here.

First published: 6 December 2019