Clues to causes of nerve cell degeneration provided by spasticity gene finding
The discovery of a gene that causes a form of hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) may provide scientists with an important insight into what causes axons, the stems of our nerve cells, to degenerate in conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
In the Journal of Clinical Investigation, an international team of scientists led by Dr Evan Reid at the University of Cambridge, and Dr Stephan Zuchner from the University of Miami, report that mutations in the gene known as 'reticulon 2' on chromosome 19 cause a form of HSP, a condition characterised by progressive stiffness and contraction (spasticity) of the legs, caused by selective and specific degeneration of axons
The team identified three mutations in the reticulon 2 gene as causing a type of HSP - in one case, this mutation included an entire deletion of the gene. In addition, the researchers showed that reticulon 2 interacts with another gene, spastin. Mutations in this latter gene cause the most common form of hereditary spastic paraplegia....Read More - http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm/fuseact ... ageid/1347