Saúl Martínez-Horta, neuropsychologist of the Movement Disorders Unit of the Sant Pau Neurology Service, and of the Parkinson’s Disease and other Movement Disorders Research Group of the Sant Pau Research Institute -IIB Sant Pau, has been awarded the best oral communication presented at the LXXII Annual Meeting of the Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN), in the category of Movement Disorders.
His work, entitled “TAU protein levels are associated with specific patterns of brain and neuropsychological involvement in Huntington’s Disease,” demonstrates that beyond the effects mediated by the mHTT protein on neuronal loss and the clinical status of patients, TAU levels measured in cerebrospinal fluid are associated with a pattern of global cortical involvement, especially prominent in parieto-occipital and medial temporal regions. Likewise, these changes are not explained by differences in genetic load, age or educational level and by a whole series of cognitive and behavioral manifestations previously considered atypical in the context of Huntington’s disease.
The results demonstrate the role of TAU protein as a secondary neuropathological mechanism in Huntington’s disease, as well as the existence of different cognitive phenotypes closely related to the levels of this protein. These results are remarkably transcendent in order to design therapeutic strategies aimed at decreasing the presence of abnormal proteins and to measure the eventual efficacy of interventions.