Cognitive dysfunction in Huntington's disease: Mechanisms and therapeutic strategies beyond BDNF

Mar Puigdellivol, Ana Saavedra, Esther Pérez-Navarro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


One of the main focuses in Huntington's disease (HD) research, as well as in most of the neurodegenerative diseases, is the development of new therapeutic strategies, as currently there is no treatment to delay or prevent the progression of the disease. Neuronal dysfunction and neuronal death in HD are caused by a combination of interrelated pathogenic processes that lead to motor, cognitive and psychiatric symptoms. Understanding how mutant huntingtin impacts on a plethora of cellular functions could help to identify new molecular targets. Although HD has been classically classified as a neurodegenerative disease affecting voluntary movement, lately cognitive dysfunction is receiving increased attention as it is very invalidating for patients. Thus, an ambitious goal in HD research is to find altered molecular mechanisms that contribute to cognitive decline. In this review we have focused on those findings related to corticostriatal and hippocampal cognitive dysfunction in HD, as well as on the underlying molecular mechanisms, which constitute potential therapeutic targets. These include alterations in synaptic plasticity, transcriptional machinery, and neurotrophic and neurotransmitter signaling. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752–771
Number of pages20
JournalBrain Pathology
Issue number6
Early online date16 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

Cite this