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FENS 2020 | Gene-environment interactions in Huntington’s disease

Anthony Hannan, PhD, Florey Institute, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia, discusses genetic and environmental risk factors and how a person’s predisposition to particular brain disorders might be influenced by stress, exercise and cognitive stimulation. Studies in mice in his lab have shown that regular exercise and cognitive stimulation can slow the onset of Huntington’s disease. In contrast, stress is linked to exacerbating neurodegenerative disease. In addition, Prof. Hannan’s group has discovered that the gut microbiota is altered in Huntington’s disease and these changes may influence pathogenic processes and thus the onset and progression of the disease. This interview was recorded during an online conference call with The Video Journal of Neurology (VJNeurology).