Feeds

Brain gene map: a route to Alzheimer's cure?

All about the proteins

High performance access to file storage

A new catalogue of genes, and the proteins they trigger in the brain, could help scientists develop new treatments for neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's. The database has been created by researchers at UCL and the University of Miami, who have spent years mapping the expression of genes in the brain.

Professor John Hardy, UCL Institute of Neurology, said the research has revealed a high degree of genetic control in terms of how much of a particular protein is made by genes in the brain.

He said: "We've taken nearly 200 samples of the human brain [from one section of the brain] and looked at how much of every gene in the genome is being made in a specific area in and around the frontal cortex. Then we looked at the expression pattern of the genes."

The research, led by Hardy and his US counterpart Dr Amanda Myers, could pave the way for totally new approaches to treating brain disease because it can shed light on exactly how it is a gene may predispose a person to a particular illness.

"It is not just the presence of a particular gene but the amount of protein they produce which is going to have real significance in understanding and treating neurological disease," Professor Hardy added. His team has already linked a protein called MAPT with the neurological disease Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, he said.

"In principle, though we are not there yet, this will allow researchers to take a blood sample from anyone and, from looking at their DNA sequence, know how much of every protein they make in their brain and what they might be more pre-disposed to in terms of neurological disease," he concluded.

The database has been made public, and the research is published in the current edition of Nature Genetics. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
IBM Hursley Park: Where Big Blue buries the past, polishes family jewels
How the internet of things has deep roots in the English countryside
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Honeybee boffin STINGS OWN WEDDING TACKLE... for SCIENCE
Not the worst place to be stung, says one man
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.