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N -Methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-mediated excitotoxicity has been proposed to play a role in the pathogenesis of Huntington disease (HD), an autosomal dominantly inherited disorder associated with defined expansions in a stretch of perfect CAG repeats in the 5' part of the IT15 gene. The number of CAG repeat units is highly predictive for the age at(More)
Dominance of the left hemisphere for many aspects of speech production and perception is one of the best known examples of functional hemispheric asymmetries in the human brain. Classic theories about its ontogenesis assume that it is determined by the same ontogenetic factors as handedness because the two traits are correlated to some extent. However, the(More)
BACKGROUND Huntington disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disease caused by an abnormal expansion of a CAG repeat in the huntingtin HTT (HD) gene. The primary genetic determinant of the age at onset (AO) is the length of the HTT CAG repeat; however, the remaining genetic contribution to the AO of HD has largely not been elucidated. Recent studies(More)
BACKGROUND Recent evidence suggests that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is an attractive candidate for modifying age at onset (AO) in Huntington disease (HD). In particular, the functional Val66Met polymorphism appeared to exert a significant effect. Here we evaluate BDNF variability with respect to AO of HD using markers that represent the entire(More)
Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominantly inherited progressive neurodegenerative disease. The exact sequel of events finally resulting in neurodegeneration is only partially understood and there is no established protective treatment so far. Some lines of evidence speak for the contribution of oxidative stress to neuronal tissue damage. The(More)
Although there is a strong correlation between CAG repeat length and age at onset (AO) of motor symptoms, individual Huntington disease (HD) patients may differ dramatically in onset age and disease manifestations despite similar CAG repeat lengths. This has led to a search for genetic factors that influence AO. In order to identify such a genetic modifier,(More)
Although the left and right human cerebral hemispheres differ both functionally and anatomically, the mechanisms that underlie the establishment of these hemispheric specializations, as well as their physiological and behavioral implications, remain largely unknown. Since cerebral asymmetry is strongly correlated with handedness, and handedness is assumed(More)
Variations in the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor 2B subunit gene (GRIN2B) have been associated with schizophrenia, a psychiatric disorder associated with reduced left-hemispheric language dominance. Here, we investigated, whether different polymorphisms in GRIN2B influence language lateralization and handedness in healthy individuals. In a cohort of 424(More)
Dopamine plays an important role in action selection, but little is known about the influence of different dopamine receptor systems on the subprocesses occurring during the cascading of actions. Because action selection and cascading can be accomplished in a serial manner or a parallel manner, we investigated the potential effects of DRD1 (rs4531) and DRD2(More)
Several candidate modifier genes which, in addition to the pathogenic CAG repeat expansion, influence the age at onset (AO) in Huntington disease (HD) have already been described. The aim of this study was to replicate association of variations in the N-methyl D-aspartate receptor subtype genes GRIN2A and GRIN2B in the "REGISTRY" cohort from the European(More)