Huntington's Disease And Memory Essay

727 words - 3 pages

Disease Summary
Huntington’s disease is of great concern because it is a genetic disease that affects many people worldwide. Huntington’s is described by Wider and Luthi-Carter (2006) as the most prevalent inherited neurodegenerative disorder in humans, affecting between two to eight per 100,000 inhabitants of Western countries. Huntington’s also has a slow onset with an average age of onset around 40 (Wider & Luthi-Carter, 2006). Wider and Luthi-Carter (2006) note the cause of this disease to be a mutation in the huntingtin gene, which can be characterized by distinct symptoms. Chorea, from the Greek “to dance”, is the main distinguishing feature of this mutation and is described by Wider ...view middle of the document...

Researchers have used animal and human models to better understand the effects that Huntington’s disease has on memory.
Animal Research Summary
In an animal research study conducted by Chan et al. (2014), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to obtain morphometric measurements of brain structures in a rHD1 transgenic monkey with Huntington’s disease for a period of two years. The monkey was chosen for the animal model because the development of motor impairment reported in monkeys with Huntington’s disease shows a similarity in motor deficits found in humans (Chan et al., 2014). According to Chan et al. (2014), these tests measured medial temporal lobe and hippocampal functions. Chan et al. (2014) hypothesized that deficits in recognition and spatial memory would be associated with decreased hippocampal size in the monkey. To test this hypothesis, Chan et al. (2014) used visual-paired comparison (VPC) and delayed-non-matching-to-sample (DNMS) recognition memory tasks to further measure medial temporal lobe and hippocampal functions. The VPC showed that at one month of age, the monkey obtained scores only slightly below those of control animals (Chan et al., 2014). However, at four months of age, the monkey obtained scores...

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