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Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing

Mining big data yields Alzheimer’s discovery

10 October 2014

Scientists at The University of Manchester have used a new way of working to identify a new gene linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

DNA helix

The discovery fills in another piece of the jigsaw when it comes to identifying people most at risk of developing the condition.  

Researcher David Ashbrook and colleagues from the UK and USA used two of the world’s largest collections of scientific data to compare the genes in mice and humans. Using brain scans from the ENIGMA Consortium and genetic information from The Mouse Brain Library, he was able to identify a novel gene, MGST3 that regulates the size of the hippocampus in both mouse and human, which is linked to a group of neurodegenerative diseases. The study has just been published in the journal BMC Genomics.

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