Evaluation of small molecule therapeutics modulating excitotocity in a mouse model of HD

Huntington’s disease (HD) is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements, emotional disturbances and memory loss. There is currently no cure for HD, and the disease is ultimately fatal. HD is caused by a selective loss of a population of nerve cells in specific regions of the brain, particularly the striatum. Accumulating evidence suggests that overactivation of glutamate receptors (transmembrane proteins involved in communication between nerve cells), which are abundant in the striatum, might lead to the selective death of nerve cells observed in HD. Mahmoud Pouladi’s research focuses on evaluating the efficacy of small molecule therapeutics known to target glutamate receptor signalling pathways in a model of HD. His work explores whether restoring physiologic levels of intracellular calcium by modulating glutamate signalling will prevent the neurodegeneration and associated motor and behavioural deficits observed in HD. This study will further our understanding of this disease and provide insights about glutamate signalling as a therapeutic target for the treatment of HD.