Research from Montreal Investigates Gene BMI1 and Alzheimer's Disease

Monday, June 4, 2018

After 10 years of hard work researchers from Montreal are happy to report their findings on the most common form of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Dr. Bernier and his research team investigated the role of the gene, BMI1 and it’s role in the development of AD. Dr. Bernier’s team determined that without a functioning BMI1 gene there is accelerated ageing of the brain, leading to the development of AD and other related conditions. The researchers looked at brains of people with AD and compared them to those who did not have AD. They found those who passed away because of AD had decreased activity of the BMI1 gene. In addition, they found that those who had passed away from early-onset AD, often associated with genetic linkages, did not have decreased expression of the BMI1 gene. Further investigation has led the researchers to believe that the loss of BMI1 expression plays a role in the development of AD and could be a cause of the disease. Researchers tested this theory by creating healthy human neurons in the lab and deactivating the gene BMI1 once they had reached maturity. The study showed once they deactivated BMI1 the neurons had all the markers of AD, indicating that the loss of BMI1 function is enough to trigger AD. The researchers determined that with the loss of BMI1 function there is an overproduction of beta-amyloid and tau proteins causing a decrease in the neuronal capacity to eliminate toxic proteins. Dr. Bernier’s team believes if they can restore BMI1 gene expression in neurons of people with early stage AD they could diminish or reverse the disease progression.

SOURCE: Science Daily: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180529132057.html
DATE RETRIEVED: June 1, 2018

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