Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have linked a defective protein in Huntington's Disease to gridlock in the transportation system that moves vital protein cargoes within the brain, eventually leading to neuron cell death. Professor Lawrence Goldstein led the study.
Goldstein: With respect to the question of what is the normal function of the Huntington protein as it is called, that protein is required for normal transport in neuronal transport pathways. So that when you remove that protein, you have a lot of cargoes that stall or stop on their way to the correct location.
Narrator: This so-called traffic jam can cause Huntington's Disease patients to suffer from psychiatric changes, cognitive difficulties, and uncontrolled movements.
Goldstein: And so it's desperately important that we broaden our understanding of how things malfunction in these diseases and then try to capitalize on that knowledge to develop therapies.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.