Bethesda, MD -- Scientists at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have for the first time precisely identified a gene abnormality that causes some cases of Parkinson's disease. The gene spells out instructions for a protein called alpha synuclein. In the abnormal version of the gene, the researchers found a mutation in a single base pair-one incorrect letter in the string of more than 400 that compose the instructions for making the protein. Because the normal gene plays a role in the function of nerve cells, the finding gives researchers a powerful new tool for understanding cellular abnormalities in Parkinson's disease and demonstrates a connection between Parkinson's disease research and research into other neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease.
The above story is based on materials provided by National Human Genome Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
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