Navigation Links
RNA build-up linked to dementia and motor neuron disease

A new toxic entity associated with genetically inherited forms of dementia and motor neuron disease has been identified by scientists at the UCL Institute of Neurology. The toxin is the result of a genetic mutation that leads to the production of RNA molecules which could be responsible for the diseases. The findings are published in the journal Acta Neuropathologica.

Frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease are related neurodegenerative diseases that affect approximately 15,000 people in the UK. Frontotemporal dementia causes profound personality and behaviour changes. Motor neuron disease leads to muscle weakness and eventual paralysis.

The most common known cause for both frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease is an unusual genetic mutation in the C9orf72 gene. The mutation involves a small string of DNA letters at the beginning of the gene, which expand massively to produce thousands of copies.

The new research, funded by Alzheimer's Research UK and the Medical Research Council, has shown that this DNA expansion acts in a peculiar way, leading to the generation of unexpected RNA molecules that could cause the disease.

When a gene is turned on, an RNA copy of the gene's DNA is generated. The gene's DNA code has directionality, so that it is normally turned on in only one direction, termed the 'sense direction'. The new research shows that the DNA expansion is turned on in both directions.

This leads to the normal sense RNA being produced, as well as RNA in the opposite direction, termed 'antisense RNA'. Both RNA types accumulate into aggregates in the neurons of people with frontotemporal dementia.

Intriguingly, the research showed that people with more of these aggregates in their brains developed the disease earlier than people with less RNA aggregates. This correlation suggests that the build-up may be important in causing frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease, making the C9orf72 DNA expansion a potential target for therapy.

Dr Adrian Isaacs, lead researcher at the UCL Institute of Neurology, said: ""These findings identify new, potentially toxic molecules in diseases caused by DNA expansions. The next steps will be to determine how they might kill neurons and how to stop them building up."

Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer's Research UK, the UK's leading dementia research charity, said: "The discovery of the C9ORF72 gene was a major step forward for research into frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease, and it's positive to see researchers beginning to untangle how this gene may cause these diseases in some people.

"Alzheimer's Research UK is delighted to have supported this promising study. By unravelling some of the biological mechanisms at play, this research could take us further on the road to new treatments that are so desperately needed by the thousands of people with these devastating diseases. For these results to reach their full potential it's vital that we continue to invest in research."


Contact: David Weston
University College London

Related medicine news :

1. Cancer drug prevents build-up of toxic brain protein
2. Protein build-up leads to neurons misfiring
3. Weight at time of diagnosis linked to prostate cancer mortality
4. Male birth defect is weakly linked to pesticide exposure, Stanford-led study finds
5. Poor motor performance linked to poor academic skills in the first school years
6. Early skin-to-skin contact linked to higher breastfeeding rates
7. Headaches in lupus patients not linked to disease activity study says
8. Prevalence of household gun ownership linked to child gun shot wounds
9. Casey Gollan: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a LinkedIn Account
10. High blood sugar levels linked to increased wound complications after surgery
11. Abuse, lack of parental warmth in childhood linked to multiple health risks in adulthood
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... California (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX ... fully customizable inside of Final Cut Pro X," said Christina Austin - CEO of ... unique style. Final Cut Pro X users can now reveal the media ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... A revolution ... the emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions of people who require these ... disrupted the taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, ... of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, ... the city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... Brent Kasmer, a legally blind and certified personal trainer is helping to ... app. The fitness app plans to fix the two major problems leading the fitness industry ... fits all type program , They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... Austin residents ... the American College of Mohs Surgery and to Dr. Russell Peckham for medical and ... highly effective treatment for skin cancer. The selective fellowship in Mohs Micrographic Surgery completed ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. ... biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and ... enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne clinical trial ... of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects the trial ... of 2016, and to report top line data ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Bracket , a leading clinical trial technology ... outcomes platform, Bracket eCOA (SM) 6.0, at the 52 ... 30, 2016 in Philadelphia , Pennsylvania.  A ... product of its kind to fully integrate with RTSM, will ... 6.0 is a flexible platform for electronic clinical outcomes assessments ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... and INDIANAPOLIS , June 23, ... a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is any indication, ... winners, announced today online at by ... 1 diabetes stand in the way of academic and ... the Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, and continues to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: