HD-CARE is a wonderful non-profit organization founded by families who were profoundly affected by the diseaes. HD-CARE's mission is to advance Huntington's disease research and clinical care at UC Irvine.
What is Huntington's disease?
Huntington's disease (HD) is a devastating inherited neurodegenerative disease that hits people in the prime of life and always leads to death. HD spreads through families, with affected parents having a 50% chance of passing it on to their children. Many describe HD as having Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and ALS all at the same time. Currently, HD has no cure or effective treatment.
Researchers in the lab of Dr. Leslie M. Thompson (my PhD advisor) at UCI have harvested skin cells from Huntington's disease patients and transformed them into HD stem cells to model the disease in a dish. My PhD project involves the use of these HD patient stem cells to understand how different cell types in the brain contribute to neurodegeneration, in hopes of protecting or reversing these effects in HD and potentially other neurodegenerative diseases. I strive to better understand HD in hopes of someday curing patients and families of this devastating disease.
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