New links between genetic abnormality and brain function in Huntington’s disease

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Credit: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

New Rochelle, NY, March 21, 2018 — While the gene mutation that causes Huntington's disease has been associated with changes in certain types of functional brain connectivity, a new study that examined connectivity across the whole brain has now identified alterations in functional connectivity in additional brain networks and has also shown significant associations between the extent of the degree of gene mutation and measures of motor and cognitive function. These novel findings in carriers of the Huntington's disease gene mutation are presented in an article published in Brain Connectivity, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Brain Connectivity website until April 21, 2018.

The article entitled "Whole-Brain Connectivity in a Large Study of Huntington's Disease Gene Mutation Carriers and Healthy Controls" is coauthored by Jane Paulsen, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Flor Espinoza, The Mind Research Network and University, Albuquerque, NM, and colleagues. The researchers looked for correlations between the number of trinucleotide (CAG) repeats (the disease-causing gene mutation) and measures of whole-brain connectivity obtained on resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). They compared the data acquired from individual carriers of the Huntington disease gene with various CAG repeat lengths and healthy control subjects.

"This analysis expands on previous Huntington disease studies by investigating associations between CAG repeat length and whole brain resting fMRI connectivity and also performs association tests between the identified CAG dependent connectivity and motor and cognitive performance," states Bharat Biswal, PhD, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Brain Connectivity and Chair of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology. "These results provide a step forward in understanding connectivity alterations in Huntington disease gene carriers."

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Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers 5R01NS040068, 1U01NS082083, 5R01NS054893, P20GM103472, and R01REB020407. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About the Journal

Brain Connectivity is the essential peer-reviewed journal covering groundbreaking findings in the rapidly advancing field of connectivity research at the systems and network levels. Published 10 times per year in print and online, the Journal is under the leadership of Founding and Co-Editors-in-Chief Christopher Pawela, PhD, Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin, and Bharat Biswal, PhD, Chair of Biomedical Engineering, New Jersey Institute of Technology. It includes original peer-reviewed papers, review articles, point-counterpoint discussions on controversies in the field, and a product/technology review section. To ensure that scientific findings are rapidly disseminated, articles are published Instant Online within 72 hours of acceptance, with fully typeset, fast-track publication within 4 weeks. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Brain Connectivity)website.

About the Publisher

Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative medical and biomedical peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Neurotrauma and Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, newsmagazines, and books is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.

Media Contact

Kathryn Ryan
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Original Source

https://home.liebertpub.com/news/researchers-identify-new-links-between-genetic-abnormality-and-brain-function-in-huntingtons-disease/2354 http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/brain.2017.0538

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