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Scientists Worldwide Collaborate to Map Brain Size Genes
Posted: Monday, April 16, 2012 7:26 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326

From Alzheimer's Daily News:

(Source: Los Angeles Times) - Scientists have published a new map of gene variations that influence the risk for various brain diseases and conditions, including Alzheimer's.

More than 200 researchers pored over thousands of MRI images and DNA screens from 21,151 healthy people. They looked for specific, heritable gene variations that appeared to cause disease. They sought out gene variants associated with reduced brain size, which is a marker for Alzheimer's disease and dementia, as well as mental health disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They also discovered gene variants associated with larger brain size and increased intelligence.


"By sharing our data with Project Enigma, we created a sample large enough to reveal clear patterns in genetic variation and show how these changes physically alter the brain," explained Paul Thompson, a professor of neurology and psychiatry at UCLA .


Thompson added that Project Enigma would next look for genes that control the brain's wiring - which is known to be damaged in diseases like Alzheimer's.

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