Recent studies have focused on understanding the neural mechanisms underlying the emergence of clinical signs and symptoms in early stage Huntington disease (HD). Although cell-based assays have focused on cell autonomous effects of mutant huntingtin, animal HD models have revealed alterations in the function of neuronal networks, particularly those linking the cerebral cortex and striatum. These findings are complemented by metabolic imaging studies of disease progression in premanifest subjects. Quantifying metabolic progression at the systems level may identify network biomarkers to aid in the objective assessment of new disease-modifying therapies and identify new regions that merit mechanistic study in HD models.
David Eidelberg, D. James Surmeier