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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Motor neuron disease' Category


08
Apr

Motor Neuron Disease Linked to Gene-Environment Interactions

(Beyond Pesticides, April 8, 2008) A team of University of Michigan scientists discover interactions between genes and organophosphate exposure cause some forms of motor neuron disease (MND). The study, which appears in the March issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, shows the mutations in one key gene (neuropathy target esterase, or NTE) that causes a previously unknown type of inherited MND. The scientists also find the mutations caused changes in a protein already known to be involved when people develop neurologic disorders as a result of exposure to toxic organophosphate chemicals commonly used in solvents and insecticides and also as “nerve gas” agents. Motor neuron disease is a rare, devastating illness in which nerve cells that carry brain signals to muscles gradually deteriorate. One form of it is Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). For most MND patients, the cause is unknown. Figuring out why these people develop the disease, which causes muscles to weaken, atrophy and cease to function, is an important step in developing therapies to treat or prevent motor neuron disease. Motor neuron disease affects five per 100,000 people. “Our findings support the possibility that toxic organophosphates contribute to motor neuron disease in […]

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