Ode to HD Research

By Ronald T. Roberts

On top of all the stress and strain,
The fears, the loss, the psychic drain,
Of coping with the risk ahead
Or giving care with all its dread,
Now comes the jargon of the lab
As science shares its chatty gab.

Now one more way our stomachs churn,
And one more language we must learn.
Proline endopeptidase
And other terms assault our space.
Bilateral quinolinate -
Now there's a phrase to contemplate.

Take ganglionic eminence
And other terms that make no sense.
There's not a one of them routine.
Explain striatal dopamine,
Or tryptophan metabolites,
Or malonate and other frights.

There's C-A-G and R-N-A
With dorsal caudate interplay,
And neurons that degenerate,
And aspartate and glutamate!
Excitotoxic neuron death-
There's hardly time to catch your breath.

Of all the things that cause us stress,
Much more than words can half express,
The other losses that depress
Are worse by far than this, I guess.
But still this abstract language mess
Is one more insult, I confess!

Ronald T. Roberts*, 1996

*Care-giving husband and father of
HD positive children. To my unseen
internet friends on the HD list who give
us or struggle with us to decipher the
exciting research material.

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Last updated: Dec. 4, 2010