By Christin Senior | March 15, 2019 10:48 am

Neurons affected by Huntington's disease

Scientists describe Huntington’s disease as having Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) all at the same time. A mutant gene causes the disease by stimulating production of an abnormal form of the huntingtin protein. It has no cure, and it causes severe mood changes, cognitive decline and early death.

Dr. Amber Southwell

But hope might be on the horizon. Dr. Amber Southwell, a researcher in the college’s Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, worked with a pharmaceutical company to synthesize pieces of DNA called ASOs that stop the production of the mutant huntingtin protein while leaving normal huntingtin proteins intact.

Her work, which could have implications for future therapeutic approaches, has been featured this month on San Antonio ABC affiliate KSAT-TV.

Watch the feature.

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