Alzheimer's genes and brain development
Sat, 12th May 2012
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And finally, new studies published in the journal Nature Genetics have shed light on the genes involved in Alzheimer’s disease and brain development. Overall, the research involved more than 80 scientists at 71 institutions in eight countries. The first study, based on genetic data from than 9,000 people, discovered that the hippocampus - the brain region involved in making new memories - may shrink faster in people with certain versions of four genes, increasing the chances of developing Alzheimer’s.
The second study found two genes that help to control brain size, by affecting something known as intracranial volume - the space inside the skull that the brain fills. As well as providing important clues about brain development and disease, the scientists also think these genes may have played a role in human evolution, helping us to become the brainy creatures we are today.
Joshua C Bis et al. Common variants at 12q14 and 12q24 are associated with hippocampal volume. Nature Genetics, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/ng.2237M Arfan Ikram et al. Common variants at 6q22 and 17q21 are associated with intracranial volume. Nature Genetics, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/ng.2245Jason L Stein et al. Identification of common variants associated with human hippocampal and intracranial volumes. Nature Genetics, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/ng.2250