Researchers from the University of Cambridge and University of Surrey have now been able to identify early biomarkers of Huntington’s disease, which will help with future scientific developments in this area of research.
Huntington’s disease affects more than 6,700 people in the UK. It is an incurable neurodegenerative disease, with a majority of patients typically dying 10-25 years after diagnosis. Early warning signs of Huntington’s disease have been uncovered in a sheep carrying the human disease-causing genetic variant, providing new insights into this devastating illness.
The findings reveal that Huntington’s disease affects important metabolic processes in the body prior to the appearance of physical symptoms. The identification of these biomarkers may help to track disease in pre-symptomatic patients, and could help researchers develop strategies to remedy the biochemical abnormalities by running more effective clinical trials for therapy.
Applicants to Biological Sciences, Human Sciences, Medicine and Natural Sciences (Biological) could further explore the key role that animals have played in developing cures to human diseases and how biomarkers help to tackle incurable diseases.