City scientists’ gene map may help in treating brain diseases

0
Have your say

CITY scientists have created an atlas of the human brain, which could help treat serious diseases.

Edinburgh University researchers hailed the map of all the genes in the brain as “the Rosetta Stone for understanding the link between genetic disorders and brain disease”.

They believe the atlas will help identify genetic abnormalities when communication breaks down between nerve cells in the brain.

This could help research into conditions such as Huntington’s and Parkinson’s and has already helped pin-point previously unknown genes in parts of the brain known to be affected by these disorders. The mapping of brain genes will enable scientists to study the role that different genes play in brain diseases, aiding in better patient treatments.

The study, carried out with the Allen Institute for Brain Science in America, found at least 84 per cent of all genes encoded in human DNA were active in the brain.

Professor Seth Grant, professor of molecular neuroscience at Edinburgh University, said: “This genetic mapping provides us with the Rosetta Stone for understanding the link between genetic disorders and brain disease.”