Many were delighted by the news yesterday that a recent clinical trial has shown hope for sufferers of Huntington’s Disease. Researchers at University College London have discovered that an experimental drug, injected into spinal fluid, safely lowered levels of toxic proteins in the brain. Experts say it could be the biggest breakthrough in neurodegenerative diseases for 50 years. You can read all about it in the BBC News story here.
This story brought hope to one of our authors, John Symons, who has written about the effects of Huntington’s Disease on his family in his books:
“Best of fathers, best of birthday presents! The unexpected, good news about the breakthrough in treating Huntington’s Disease patients came on my Father’s birthday. He suffered from Huntington’s for twenty five years, until his death in 1972. In my books, Stranger on the Shore and This Life of Grace, I do my best to describe the effect of Huntington’s on him and on our family, over the generations. This possible breakthrough is the best of birthday presents, for the best of fathers.”
We are delighted for John and all those whose lives are affected by this devastating disease. We are hopeful that this breakthrough could lead to a reversal of its debilitating symptoms.
Prof Sarah Tabrizi, the lead researcher and director of the Huntington’s Disease Centre at UCL was quoted on the BBC News website as saying, “I’ve been seeing patients in clinic for nearly 20 years, I’ve seen many of my patients over that time die. For the first time we have the potential, we have the hope, of a therapy that one day may slow or prevent Huntington’s disease. This is of groundbreaking importance for patients and families.”
The full details of the trial will be published next year.