Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

£2 million study to reveal workings of dementia genes

23.09.2008
University of Manchester scientists are to investigate the biological causes of the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s, thanks to a prestigious £1.9 million senior fellowship award from the Medical Research Council.

Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a group of dementias that affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain and are characterised by behaviour and language dysfunction, rather than the memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

FTLD, which affects about 50,000 people in the UK, also differs from AD in that it targets younger people: FTLD sufferers are usually in their 50s or 60s, although people as young as their 20s have also fallen victim to FTLD. AD sufferers tend to be older.

“Alzheimer’s patients lose their awareness of space and time, whereas FTLD can result in changes in personality as well as speech and language difficulties,” said Dr Stuart Pickering-Brown, who is leading the research.

“Sufferers can become apathetic or exhibit behaviour at the other extreme and lose normal social values which lead them to act inappropriately.

“Speech and language difficulties fall into two main types: sufferers can develop problems with grammar and pronunciation or have semantic dementia where they lose the information content of language.

Errors in two genes – tau and progranulin – have been identified as causes for FTLD but these only account for 10% of cases. The University of Manchester team plan to investigate the role other genes may play in the disease.

“Our research suggests other genes may be important in regulating the amount of tau and progranulin in the brain,” said Dr Pickering-Brown, who is based in the School of Translational Medicine.

“Progranulin is associated with wound healing and little is known about its function in the brain, so we now plan to study the effects of progranulin on cells and explore how it is affected by other genes.”

At the end of the five year study, the team hope to have a much clearer understanding of the genetic causes underlying FTLD.

“Understanding the biological problems that lead to FTLD will help in diagnosing the condition and ultimately allow us to find future therapies for patients.”

Aeron Haworth | alfa
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk

Further reports about: Alzheimer Dysfunction FTLD Tau dementia dementia genes genes progranulin

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

How algae and carbon fibers could sustainably reduce the athmospheric carbon dioxide concentration

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

NIH scientists illuminate causes of hepatitis b virus-associated acute liver failure

14.11.2018 | Life Sciences

The unintended consequences of dams and reservoirs

14.11.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>