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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Photo-environment affects disease progression in bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) Huntington s disease mouse model

  • Author(s): HUEI-BIN, WANG,
  • Advisor(s): Colwell, Christopher
  • Block, Gene
  • et al.

Circadian rhythms are generated by an intrinsic timing system which broadly regulates our body. Patients with Huntington’s disease (HD) exhibit disrupted circadian rhythms. By itself, disruption of the circadian system results in a broad range of symptoms and it is likely that the circadian dysfunction seen in HD contributes to the symptoms of the disease. Here we show that inappropriate photo-environment such as constant dim light can further disrupt sleep/wake rhythms and make HD symptoms worse. On the other hand, blue light treatment improved the sleep/wake cycle but did not alter motor symptoms. My results suggest that HD patients may be vulnerable to the negative impact of light pollution and may be able to improve their sleep cycle by careful attention to the photic environment.

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