UK researchers are closing in on a new set of biomarkers for Huntington's disease which can be used by developers to set up new endpoints in future clinical trials.
The team, which was headed by Sarah Tabrizi, MD, with the University College London's Institute of Neurology, concluded that quantitative imaging techniques offered the best approach to tracking disease progression. And they are developing new tests to identify the disease before symptoms appear, allowing researchers to evaluate the efficacy of experimental therapeutics at an early stage.
"The sensitivity of our methods means we can detect changes over a short period and that should allow us to test therapeutics aimed at halting or slowing the neurodegenerative process," Tabrizi told Reuters. Their study was published in The Lancet Neurology journal.
"These data add significantly, as they are the first data over short periods of time (1 year), in both pre-manifest HD gene carriers and those with early-stage disease alongside a large control group," Dr. Tabrizi told Medscape Medical News. "Several imaging, cognitive, and motor measures have been proposed as suitable candidates for tracking disease progression, but the majority of studies to date have relied on cross-sectional data to infer utility," she added.