Huntington’s

Huntington’s disease is a progressive-, severe-, rare-, fatal and hereditary disease that causes degeneration of nerve cells in the brain. The disease interferes with most aspects of life as it impacts functional abilities.

  • What is Huntington’s disease?
  • Huntington’s disease & cannabinoids
  • Text references, literature discussion
    & clinical trials

What is Huntingtons disease?

Definition
Huntington’s disease is a progressive-, severe-, rare-, fatal- and hereditary disease that causes degeneration of nerve cells in the brain. The disease interferes with most aspects of life as it impacts functional abilities such as movement and cognitive processes as well as it may lead to the development of psychiatric disorders.1

Symptoms
The symptoms vary greatly from individual to individual. However, the symptoms can be divided into three groups:  movement, cognition, psychiatric disorders.1

Movement
Huntington’s disease may interfere with both involuntary and voluntary movements

  • Involuntary jerking or twisting (chorea)
  • Muscle contracture and rigidity (dystonia)
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Abnormal or slow eye movements
  • Impaired balance, posture, and gait

Cognition

  • Impaired concentration e.g. difficulty focusing, prioritizing, and organizing
  • Impaired judgment of own abilities and behavior
  • Slow processing of thoughts
  • Lack of impulse control

Psychiatric disorders

  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Mania
  • Bipolar disorder

Cause
Huntington’s disease is caused by a defect in a single gene inherited from the parents (i.e. a child inherits one gene from each parent in every gene pair). As Huntington’s disease is an autosomal dominant disorder, the defect has to be only one of the genes from the parents to be present. This means that a parent with the disease in one gene has a 50% chance of giving it further to their child. The gene defect leads to the degeneration of nerve cells in the brain and when the disease emerges, it can lead to death within 10-30 years.1

  • Cannabinoids
  • Cannabinoid receptors
  • Endocannabinoids
  • CBG
  • THC
  • CBD
  • CB1
  • CB2
  • PPARα

Plant Cannabinoids

  • Terpenes
  • Strains
  • Enzymes
  • Metabolites

Terpenes

Strains

Synthesizing & Degrading Enzymes

Metabolites

The connection between Huntington’s disease
& cannabinoids

Huntingtons Disease

Preclinical data proposes that the cannabinoids THC, CBD, and CBG have potential in the treatment of Huntington’s disease as the endocannabinoid system is involved. Specifically, THC may have great therapeutic potential.2
Recent studies have also proposed that cannabinoids may relieve movement symptoms caused by the disease.3

Note: If you have any further information relevant to the connection between Huntington’s disease and cannabinoids, or find any of the information inaccurate, outdated, or incomplete please contact us here.

Text references, literature discussion
& clinical trials

  • Text references
  • Literature discussion
  • Clinical trials
Review

The endocannabinoid system is involved in the pathophysiology of Huntington’s Disease (Fernández-Ruiz et al., 2015; Pazos, Sagredo, & Fernández-Ruiz, 2008).

Consistent changes in CB1, PPARα, and NAPE-PLD were observed in a meta-analysis involving patients and animal models of Huntington’s Disease (Laprairie et al., 2015). This suggests the involvement of the endocannabinoid system in Huntington’s Disease.

In mice, motor deficits, synapse loss, and CNS inflammation can be inhibited upon treatment with a CB2 receptor agonist, whereas these effects can be blocked by a CB2 receptor antagonist. These findings confirm that CB2 receptor signaling is associated with Huntington’s Disease (Bouchard et al., 2012).

In a mouse model for Huntington’s (3NP), CBG exhibited neuroprotective activities and ameliorated motor deficits (Valdeolivas et al., 2015).

References
Clinical trials

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study it was observed that nabilone (a synthetic variant of THC) ameliorated motor function and reduced cognitive decline in Huntington’s patients (Curtis et al., 2009).

References

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