Imaging brain metabolism with PET (positron emission tomography) can be used to track disease progression in clinically normal carriers of the Huntington’s disease gene who have yet to develop symptoms, according to a study my colleagues and I just published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Huntington’s disease is extremely debilitating. It causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain, which leads to impairments in movement, thinking and emotions. Our new findings are a major advance in the field, because they create a way to assess the potential benefit of new treatments before symptoms ever appear.
This new video covers Huntington’s disease and how our discovery can affect its traditional “watch-and-wait” diagnosis and treatment: