Huntington's disease, a neurodegenerative genetic disorder that affects muscle coordination and leads to cognitive decline, has been known to be caused by a genetic mutation in a patient’s DNA.
In a recent ground-breaking study published in Nature on March 26, 2014, Dr. Solomon H. Snyder and his team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University have reported that a cellular mechanism in the genetic mutation causes the vast neurodegeneration that ultimately leads to Huntington’s disease.
His theory proposes that the symptoms of the disease arise from a deficiency of the amino acid cysteine in the brain. The theory is based on experiments with mice that suffer from symptoms of Huntington’s disease as well as cultured human tissue.
This research is a major milestone in the understanding and treatment of Huntington’s disease and could potentially lead to a treatment plan that would decrease its onset with simple dietary supplementation.
Dr. Snyder received his undergraduate and medical training at Georgetown University (MD 1962); Research Associate training with Julius Axelrod at the NIH (1963–1965); and psychiatric training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital (1965–1968).
He is the recipient of numerous awards and professional honors and a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.
Dr. Snyder has authored more than 1000 journal articles and several books including Uses of Marijuana (1971), Madness and the Brain (1974), The Troubled Mind (1976), Biological Aspects of Abnormal Behavior (1980), Drugs and the Brain (1986), and Brainstorming (1989). He is an ASPET member since 1995.