Conference Proceedings

Physical therapy as an environmental modulator of genetic determinism in HD: The FIT-HD study

Anita Goh, Anthony Hannan, Kay Cox, Nicola Lautenschlager, Blair R Leavitt (ed.), Leslie M Thompson (ed.)

2013 World Congress on Huntington’s Disease | IOS Press | Published : 2013


HD has long been viewed as the quintessential example of genetic determinism. However, research has demonstrated that environmental factors play a signifi cant role in modulating the disease process, including the age of onset. In transgenic mouse models of HD, co-author Hannan’s laboratory has demonstrated that environmental enrichment (enhanced motor, cognitive and sensory stimulation) delays onset and progression of motor symptoms and neural degeneration. Introducing an exercise wheel to young HD mice delays onset and progression of motor symptoms, and reverses reduction of brain derived neurotrophic factor in the striatum and hippocampus. Such stimulation has also ameliorated defi cits i..

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