Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Huntington’s disease, are caused by a DNA mutation that appears as a stutter of DNA repeat sequences. More repeats lead to more severe disease. As people age, the mutation continues and their disease worsens. For example, “THE CAT ATE THE FAT FAT RAT” mutates to “THE CAT ATE THE FAT FAT FAT RAT,” which eventually mutates to “THE CAT ATE THE FAT FAT FAT FAT FAT RAT,” and so on.
As Canada Research Chair in Disease-associated Genome Instability, Dr. Christopher Pearson is studying neurodegenerative diseases and the DNA mutations they cause. Ultimately, he and his research team aim to stop or reverse mutations, with the goal of stopping or reversing disease.