June 1 Meeting at MGH

June 1 Meeting at MGH
Submitted by Ellen Burns, Medical Liaison

On June 1, 2007, a small group gathered in a first floor conference room of Building 114 at the Massachusetts General Hospital East complex in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Dr. Robert H. Brown, Jr. and Dr. Florian Eichler welcomed Eric Newcomer, Larry Deater, Kristen Kirk Paladino, Rory Robb and Ellen Deater Burns to a meeting providing an update on research on HSN-1.

Dr. Brown reviewed the research from the discovery of the gene for HSN-1 in 2001 through the development of the mouse models for HSN-1, illustrated with a Power Point presentation. Dr. Brown and Dr. Eichler explained the results of the most recent research on the mice with HSN-1.

  • A mouse lives about 2 years. Six to eight months of age is early adulthood for a mouse.
  • Tests on the mice for sensitivity to pain and heat showed hypersensitivity early in the disease. Eric and Larry confirmed this symptom. Hypersensitivity usually precedes the loss of nerves.
  • As the mice got older, they got worse—sensitivity to pain and heat decreased.
  • At the cellular level, it appears that there is not a decrease in the amount of enzyme produced, but in the enzyme activity.

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