May is Huntington's Disease Awareness Month - in honour of those affected by the disease, here is some information about our promising HD research. 
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What is Huntingtons Disease?
May is Huntington's Awareness Month

Huntington's Disease ravages the mind like Alzheimers and distorts the body like Parkinson's Disease. Huntington's is 100% genetic with patients having a 50% chance of passing the gene on to their children. Yet most people have never heard of the disease because compared to Alzheimer's, Stroke and Parkinson's, it is relatively rare. 

At the moment, there are no treatments that will slow down or stop the disease in humans, but there is hope for a meaningful treatment. Hope comes in the form of promising research done all over New Zealand by Brain Research New Zealand, NZBRI and the Centre for Brain Research
The 2016 National HD Conference

The National Huntington's Disease Association Conference will showcase the latest in Huntington’s disease research findings and available therapies. It's hosted and supported by the Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch HD Associations and sponsored by the University of Auckland’s Centre for Brain Research (CBR). 

Dates: Saturday & Sunday 14-15 May, 2016 
Times: Saturday 8.00 am to 4.30 pm, Sunday 9.00 am to 4.30 pm. 
Location: Waipuna Hotel and Conference Centre, Auckland.  
Late registrations are available. 
More information available on the website 

Register now
BRNZ Huntingtons Disease researchers
Many of Brain Research New Zealand's researchers are dedicated to fighting Huntington's Disease. Read their stories out find out why they are dedicating their lives to finding treatments and techniques to ameliorate the disease.  Find out more
Studying sheep with Huntingtons Disease
Neurological Foundation of New Zealand Human Brain Bank
Dr Malvindar Singh-Bains
Neuroscientist Dr Malvindar Singh-Bains is a research fellow at Brain Research New Zealand, the Centre for Brain Research and the Neurological Foundation of New Zealand's Brain Bank.

She gained her PhD in 2014 under the supervision of Distinguished Professor Richard Faull and Associate Professor Henry Waldvogel. Her PhD focused on neurodegeneration of the human globus pallidus in Huntington’s disease (HD). Find out more
Prof Tim Anderson
Professor Tim Anderson is a movement disorder specialist, a BRNZ Principal Investigator, the Clinical Director at New Zealand Brain Research Institute in Christchurch and Professor of Medicine at the University of Otago in Christchurch and is a neurologist with the CDHB Department of Neurology. He also undertakes a small amount of private practice. His particular interest and expertise is in the field of Movement Disorders - a subspecialty concerned with Parkinson’s disease (PD), Huntington’s disease (HD) and other neurological conditions that cause tremors (shaking) muscle spasms and muscular jerks. Find out more
Prof Russell Snell
Professor of Genetics at the University of Auckland and Principal Investigator for BRNZ, Professor Russell Snell was part of the pioneering team that first identified the gene for Huntington’s disease. That was more than 20 years ago. These days he divides his time between projects on Huntington’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, and autism. The Snell lab focuses on gene identification, modeling disease processes, and drug discovery in various genetic disorders, including Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and more recently neurodevelopmental disorders. Find out more
Samantha Murray
Samantha Murray is a PhD Candidate at Brain Research New Zealand and Centre for Brain Research. She is conducting research into the changes in the brain during the early stages of Huntington’s Disease.

“I am working on  finding out what is changing in the brain in the very early stages of HD. If we know what these early pathological changes are we can develop drug targets to stop these changes occurring and hopefully slow down or stop the progression of the disease," she says. Find out more
Dr Melanie Cheung
Dr Melanie Cheung (Ngāti Rangitihi, Te Arawa) is committed to exploring both Indigenous and Western scientific paradigms to help people with neurodegenerative diseases.

Consequently, her work integrates experimental neurobiology, bioethics, tikanga (ceremony/customary) and Mātauranga Māori (Maori traditional knowledge).

Since 2007 Melanie and her research team have worked closely with a large Taranaki Māori family that have Huntington’s disease, a dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disease that affects movement, personality, and higher cognitive functions. Find out more
Associate Professor Henry Waldvogel’s main area of research is the chemical neuroanatomy of the normal human brain and the changes that occur in the brain in neurodegenerative diseases particularly in Huntington's disease, but also in Parkinson's disease, Motor Neuron disease and Alzheimer's disease.

He studies the cell death and neurochemical changes that occur in the human brain in neurodegenerative disease with a major interest in the inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors GABAA GABAB and glycine receptors and their associated proteins as well as neurochemicals specific to all types of brain cells. Find out more
Distinguished Professor Richard LM Faull
Professor Richard LM Faull has directed and developed the Centre for Brain Research since its inception in 2009, a world renowned centre of research. During his 37 years at the University he has established an international reputation for his research studies on the normal and diseased human brain (Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Parkinson’s and epilepsy) and has established a Human Brain Bank with the generous support of families to promote worldwide research on human brain diseases. His research group and international collaborators are developing innovative approaches to treat Huntington’s disease using a transgenic sheep model of the disease. Find out more
Associate Professor Lynette Tippett
Associate Professor Lynette Tippett is Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Auckland since 2012. A major focus of her research programme involves clinical and neuropsychological investigations of individuals with neurological disorders, particularly neurodegenerative diseases (Huntington’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, Motor Neuron Disease and Parkinson’s Disease). Find out more
Dr Nasim Mehrabi
Nassim Mehrabi is a research assistant working on Huntington’s Disease at the Centre for Brain Research and Brain Research New Zealand. Her work with human brains combines two of her favourite research areas, genetics and neuroscience.
“I have the privilege of working with post-mortem human brain. My research focuses on understanding how Huntington’s disease affects different parts of the brain. Particularly, I am interested in understanding the variable symptoms that are associated with HD. we need to understand the early changes in the brain that are associated with HD before we could come up with new therapeutic strategies. Find out more
Associate Professor Deborah Young
Associate Professor Maurice Curtis
Content within this newsletter is permitted for non-commercial reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (2016) Brain Research New Zealand

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