HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - It’s a breakthrough discovery that could help identify dementia earlier and hopefully lead to earlier treatments.
Scientists at HudsonAlpha contributed to research that identifies a gene associated with a type of dementia that happens an an early age.
Nick Cochran, a senior scientist for HudsonAlpha, says the discovery can provide hope.
“What we know about this gene is that if you lose its function completely you will develop a severe neurological disease in childhood. And what we’re finding is that you have two copies of every gene. So if you break two, that’s a childhood disease. If you just end up with one broken copy, you develop this disease, frontotemporal dementia, in your 40s or 50s," Cochran said.
Funding for the research was provided by the Memory and Mobility Fund, a collaboration of donations from people around Huntsville.
Cochran said HudsonAlpha has several more projects in the works, including expanding research for dementia and related neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, ALS and Parkinson’s.