Researchers track Huntington's disease progression using PET scans

August 29, 2013

Investigators at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have discovered a new way to measure the progression of Huntington's disease, using positron emission tomography (PET) to scan the brains of carriers of the gene. The findings are published in the September issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Huntington's disease causes the progressive breakdown of in the brain, which leads to impairments in movement, thinking and emotions. Most people with Huntington's disease develop signs and symptoms in their 40s or 50s, but the onset of disease may be earlier or later in life. Medications are available to help manage the symptoms of Huntington's disease, but treatments do not prevent the physical, mental and behavioral decline associated with the condition.