Neurobiology of Brain Disorders (Second Edition) - Chapter 17: Huntington disease

Elsevier, Neurobiology of Brain Disorders (Second Edition) Biological Basis of Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders 2023, Pages 275-292
Matthew P. Parsons and Lynn A. Raymond

Huntington disease (HD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that is debilitating for families worldwide. Inherited in an autosomal dominant manner, HD results from a CAG expansion in the gene encoding the huntingtin protein. This mutation leads to a host of motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms that generally appear in middle age. While spiny projection neurons in the striatum are the most vulnerable cell type in HD, notable atrophy occurs throughout the brain, including the white matter; for this reason, HD is now considered to be a brain-wide disease. The clinical features, ethics, and neurobiology of HD are discussed in this chapter. The chapter also reviews the exciting approaches being employed today to advance understanding of underlying mechanisms in an effort to develop therapies that would delay the onset and slow progression of this disease.