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 Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery
20.01.2017 | GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbH

nachricht Seeking structure with metagenome sequences
20.01.2017 | DOE/Joint Genome Institute

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>