Endurance exercise--like walking or jogging--is good for almost any medical condition. It reduces risks for obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers. For neurologic processes, this type of exercise improves blood supply to the brain, boosts mood, decreases anxiety and improves cognition. Though there are no studies for HD, others done in aging, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease show that exercise improves functional capacity. What about exercise in Huntington's? Is it beneficial? How much is enough? Can there be too much?

Resveratrol is a natural substance found in small quantities in the skin of grapes, blueberries, cranberries and most highly concentrated in red wine. This substance which is available as a dietary supplement has been shown to protect several types of cells and organisms from oxidative stress, and to prolong life in some organisms. In this article, Dr. Goodman reviews the preliminary evidence that may support its use in Huntington's.

Participating centers have been announced, and are recruiting. The Dimebon trials will need 90 participants and will last three months.

The Huntington Study Group (HSG) is planning its first ever clinical research symposium. Though it is only for one half of a day, only research and clinical trial efforts that are directly relevant to people will be presented. No studies on mice or yeast allowed here. And more good news, the public is invited!

Per an announcement on July 26, "MRSSI, Inc. announced today that Daniel P. van Kammen MD, PhD has joined as Chief Medical Officer. As such he will be responsible for the clinical development efforts of CHDI, Inc. CHDI was established in 2003 as a non-profit entity pursuing a biotech approach to finding therapies for Huntington disease (HD)".

In this article published in the July 25 Journal of Neuroscience, Dr. Bezprozvanny and colleagues show that tetrabenazine is neuroprotective. It delays onset of disease symptoms and saves neurons in the YAC mouse model of Huntington's. They also show that L-dopa, a drug commonly used in Parkinson's is harmful. This is a great example of translational research, or laboratory experiments that can lead to application in HD people. Dr. Goodman hopes that these results will encourage greater use of this drug and add incentive for prompt FDA approval.

from July 18 Science Daily

Better Sleep May Put Huntington's Disease Sufferers Back On Track This news release from Cambridge, England reports on what many patients already know: sleep is disturbed in Huntington's. Researchers show that treatment of HD mice with available drugs (fewest toxic effects from alprazolam or Xanax) helps sleep, improves cognition and rousability, which is probably a measure of apathy. They go an important step further stating that " treating disrupted sleep in long-term neurologically ill patients is important" for both the patient and the caregiver.

It sounds too good to be true, but there it is in May 2007 Nature magazine's article on medical foundation spending: High Q and CHDI were on the receiving end of $50 million in foundation money in 2006. To put this into perspective, the High Q/CHDI profile is on the same page as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and ranks #6 in the world among foundations that spend money on medical causes. This foundation is in the majors, and this is great news for HD people.

Important research reported in May 2007 Nature Magazine shows that Huntington's turns a normally protective enzyme into one that likely accelerates disease progression. Dr. Cynthia McMurray and colleagues show that OGG1, an enzyme that normally repairs damaged DNA, seriously malfunctions and causes a further increase in the already enlarged CAG repeat number in HD brain cells. Dr. Goodman believes the real and practical "take home" message from this important study is that HD people may now have two good reasons to take creatine.

NeuroSearch, the drug company that is sponsoring ACR-16 announced progress on clinical trials for this drug in the U.S. This means that the FDA has accepted phase II clinical trial results from Europe, and given the go-ahead for proceeding directly to phase III in the U.S. If this drug is as good as first studies suggest, foregoing another phase II trial in the U.S. will save years of time getting this drug to people.