Brain Imaging – Huntington’s Disease

Dr. Aylward has been studying the natural history of brain atrophy in Huntington’s disease (HD) for many years.  Individuals who have a parent with HD can, if they choose, undergo genetic testing to determine if they carry the HD gene mutation and will eventually experience the symptoms of this devastating neurodegenerative disease, which is characterized by onset, usually in midlife, of uncontrollable motor movements, dementia, and behavioral and psychiatric impairments, with death occurring approximately 15 years following the onset of symptoms.  As part of PREDICT-HD , an NIH-funded multi-site longitudinal study, Dr. Aylward has led neuroimaging investigations to assess the rate of brain atrophy, particularly in the striatum, the brain region most affected in HD, prior to the onset of symptoms in individuals who carry the HD gene mutation.  Data from these studies are being used to develop imaging outcome measures that can be used to assess treatment effectiveness in future clinical trials in preclinical HD.

Huntington Disease brain imaging

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