Alabama scientists linked particular gene to common form of early-onset dementia

Scientists using the computing power of an Alabama research institute have linked a particular gene to a common form of early-onset dementia.

The discovery lets researchers narrow their focus for potential treatments of this particular form of dementia and adds to the tools that could lead to treatments for all dementia in the future.

Researchers say they linked the MFSDA gene to a greater risk of developing frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). That form of dementia can have symptoms ranging from speech problems to inappropriate social behavior.

“Identifying the risk factors that accompany rare and early-onset forms of dementia gives us a better chance to understand neurodegenerative disorders as a whole,” Dr. Nick Cochran of Huntsville’s HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology said in an announcement of the findings today. “With early-onset cases, we can more successfully isolate the genetic factors that go along with a variety of symptoms, which helps us build our knowledge base for the entire field.”

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