Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Movement disorders in young people related to ADHD

03.07.2014

GENETIC KEY TO PARKINSON'S DISEASE

Researchers at the University of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen University Hospital have identified a particular genetic mutation that may cause parkinsonism in young people. The mutation interferes with the brain's transport of the important signal substance dopamine and may also plays a role in mental diseases, e.g. ADHD. The findings have just been published in the scientific Journal of Clinical Investigation.


The researchers believe that DAT mutations may cause or predispose to the development of an entire spectrum of brain diseases – from relatively mild psychiatric diagnoses such as ADHD to serious movement disorders in infants such as Dopamine Transporter Deficiency Syndrome.

Being one of the most important signal substances in the brain, dopamine is particularly important for the control of movements and reward mechanisms in the brain. In the new study, Danish researchers have focused on a special protein, the dopamine transporter (DAT). DAT is a transport protein, which controls the effect of dopamine by mediating re-uptake of released dopamine from the synaptic cleft to the nerve cell. This is a very fine balance – and even small fluctuations can have major consequences for brain function:

"We can now for the first time document that mutations in the DAT-encoding gene can cause parkinsonism in young people. Furthermore, our studies show that the gene mutation is likely to contribute to the development of ADHD", explains Ulrik Gether, Professor at the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen.

The researchers believe that DAT mutations may cause or predispose to the development of an entire spectrum of brain diseases – from relatively mild psychiatric diagnoses such as ADHD to serious movement disorders in infants such as Dopamine Transporter Deficiency Syndrome:

"Children born without a functional dopamine transporter develop serious movement disorders from birth, which may result in premature death. We have now identified mutations in the DAT-encoding gene as a novel cause of parkinsonism in adult patients and possibly also to complex mental disorders," says Freja H. Hansen, postdoc at the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology.

Genetic analysis based on one man

The scientific article, which has just been published in Journal of Clinical Investigation, is based on one patient only. Neurologists and psychiatrists have examined the male patient, who is 45 years old and has suffered from serious movement disorders since he was in his 20s. Furthermore, he has had various mental problems since childhood. When he was 36 years old, he was diagnosed with ADHD:

"It was a great relief for the patient and his family to get a genetic explanation of a disease that has affected him since childhood," says Freja H. Hansen.

But can the results be used in a wider perspective?

"We will, among other things, create a mouse model with the same genetic deficiencies, and we expect it to become a new disease model for parkinsonism and mental disorders. We hope that this will help us find new and better ways of treating these diseases," says Ulrik Gether.

"We would like to examine the frequency of mutations in the DAT-encoding gene in both children and young adults with serious movement disorders. This knowledge can clarify whether the DAT gene can be used in the genetic investigation of patients. Genetic examinations of embryos may also be relevant for some families," concludes Freja H. Hansen.

In this specific research project, the researchers at the University of Copenhagen have worked closely with the geneticists Tina Skjørringe and Lisbeth B. Møller from the Kennedy Centre at the Copenhagen University Hospital as well as with neurologist Lena E. Hjermind from the Department of Neurology also at the Copenhagen University Hospital.

Contact:

Ulrik Gether
Mobile: +45 28 75 75 48

Ulrik Gether | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://healthsciences.ku.dk/news/news2014/movement-disorders-in-young-people-related-to-adhd/

Further reports about: ADHD Copenhagen DAT Genetic Health Investigation Neuroscience diseases disorders dopamine movement mutations

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Biomarkers for identifying Tumor Aggressiveness
26.07.2017 | Max-Delbrück-Centrum für Molekulare Medizin in der Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

nachricht The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow
25.07.2017 | Rudolf-Virchow-Zentrum für Experimentelle Biomedizin der Universität Würzburg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather

25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds

25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow

25.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>