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Alzheimer's genes and brain development

Sat, 12th May 2012

Kat Arney

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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.



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