A new light-based technique for measuring levels of the toxic protein that causes Huntington's disease (HD) has been used to demonstrate that the protein builds up gradually in blood cells.
HD mice crossbred with mice that produced greater levels of PGC-1alpha showed dramatic improvement. Production of misfolded proteins was essentially eliminated and the mice behaved normally. “Degeneration of brain cells is prevented. Neurons don’t die,” said La Spada.