World Congress on Huntington's Disease to meet in Toronto, August 16-19, 2003

July 26, 2003

(Toronto, Ontario, Canada) -- Huntington's disease (HD) researchers, clinicians, and members of the HD community from around the world will convene August 16-19 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada for the World Congress on Huntington's Disease. A scientific program will feature presentations on the genetics and mechanisms of HD, as well as recent discoveries and experimental treatments. Research clinicians working with families affected by HD will present the latest findings from clinical trials. The Congress will also include sessions on social, historical, and ethical perspectives of HD, as well as implications for public policy and education.

HD is an inherited, progressive disease of the nervous system that affects about 1 in 10,000 people worldwide. In Canada and the United States, about 30,000 individuals are ill from HD, and another 150,000 risk developing this disorder. The degeneration of brain cells, called neurons, in certain areas of the brain leads to psychiatric, intellectual, and movement problems. Because the disease is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion, each child of a person with HD has a 50% risk of also developing the disease. There is currently no proven therapy or cure that can slow or prevent the disease.

Research in HD has increased dramatically in the past decade, since the 1993 identification of the gene responsible for the disease. Investigators from 20 countries, representing the United States, Canada, Australia, Europe, Brazil, Cuba, Iran, Turkey, Israel and Asia will all be presenting recent research findings at the Congress.

The World Congress on Huntington's Disease (HD) is a newly-structured international forum to present and discuss research and public policy topics, supported by and under the auspices of the World Federation of Neurology Research Group on Huntington's Disease, the International Huntington Association, the Huntington Society of Canada, the Hereditary Disease Foundation (HDF), the Huntington's Disease Society of America (HDSA), and the Huntington Study Group (HSG). The Congress will be hosted by the Huntington Society of Canada, a national network of volunteers and professionals working together to find new treatments and, ultimately, a cure for Huntington disease; and to improve the quality of life of individuals with Huntington disease and their families across Canada.
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Qualified media are invited to attend and registration is complimentary. For further information, see http://www.hsc-ca.org/english/congress/index2.htm, or call Leslie Briner at 585-275-1068, or Isla Horvath at 519-749-7063.

World Congress on Huntington's Disease

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