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Epigenetic breakthrough bolsters understanding of Alzheimer's disease
Date:8/17/2014

mechanisms involved in the onset of dementia. We don't yet know why these changes occur it's possible that they are involved in disease onset, but they may also reflect changes induced by the disease itself."

Dr Katie Lunnon, first author on the study, from the University of Exeter Medical School, added: "It's intriguing that we find changes specifically in the regions of the brain involved in Alzheimer's disease. Future studies will focus on isolating different cell-types from the brain to see whether these changes are neuron-specific."

Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer's Research UK, the UK's leading dementia research charity, who also provided funding for the study said:

"We know that changes to the DNA code of certain genes are associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Investigating how epigenetic changes influence genes in Alzheimer's is still a relatively new area of study. The importance of understanding this area of research is highlighted by the fact that epigenetic changes have been associated with development of other diseases, including cancer.

"This innovative research has discovered a potential new mechanism involved in Alzheimer's by linking the ANK1 gene to the disease. We will be interested to see further research into the role of ANK1 in Alzheimer's and whether other epigenetic changes may be involved in the disease."

"Alzheimer's affects millions of people worldwide and we need pioneering research to understand exactly why the disease occurs. Alzheimer's Research UK is helping to fund research which will take us a step closer to understanding and defeating this devastating disease."


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Contact: Liz French
pressoffice@exeter.ac.uk
44-139-272-2062
University of Exeter
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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