Research

Huntington’s disease (HD) is an inherited, degenerative brain disease that causes uncontrolled movements, emotional disturbance and loss of intellectual faculties. (View full article. Below)

HD is caused by a defective gene and usually strikes between the ages of 30 and 45, although it may appear earlier or later. Every child of an HD parent has a 50% risk of inheriting this genetic disease. There is a gradual physical, emotional and cognitive deterioration over 10 to 25 years, leading to total incapacitation and eventual death.

There is currently no known cure or effective treatment for HD. Symptoms include involuntary jerking movements of the limbs, face and trunk, increasing difficulty with communication, swallowing and walking; problems with planning, organisation and initiating, as well as personality change.

LCT is developing NTCELL as a treatment for HD. Treatment with NTCELL involves implanting new choroid plexus cells (the cells that produce cerebral spinal fluid and a number of factors important for the health and survival of the brain) into the brain. The cells produce hormones called neurotrophins to help protect and repair the brain from damage.

Early results of pre-clinical studies have shown the ability of the technology to protect brain tissue that would otherwise die, potentially forestalling or even preventing the debilitating consequences of brain disease.

Facts about Huntington's disease

  • Every person who inherits the HD gene will eventually develop the disease
  • Approximately 30,000 Americans have HD and over 200,000 more are at risk of inheriting it from a parent
  • In Australia, seven to 10 individuals per 100,000 people will be affected