Updated: Jan 5
Junk DNA Could Hold the Key to Many Neurological Disorders
New research has discovered that there’s a link between non-coding DNA and a variety of neurological disorders, including motor neuron disease and Alzheimer’s. A team from the University of Lincoln and the University of Sheffield have identified how oxidative breaks or ‘junk’ DNA are created and repaired, learning how the process of repairing these breaks could protect people from neurological diseases in the future.
This exciting discovery will unlock the potential for pioneering new research and studies into this junk DNA which makes up approximately 98% of our total cellular DNA.
“This is the culmination of half a decade of rigorous research by an exceptionally talented team led by Professor Sherif El-Khamisy at the University of Sheffield,” explained lead author Dr. Swagat Ray, senior lecturer in cell biology at the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Lincoln.
“Oxidative stress is an unavoidable consequence of cellular metabolism and can be influenced by factors such as diet, lifestyle, and environment. However, in the long term, oxidative stress can cause irreparable damage to the body’s cells, proteins, and DNA, accelerating the aging process and contributing to the development of neurological diseases such as dementia,” he added.
What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological disorder that causes your brain to shrink and brain cells to die. It’s one of the most common causes of dementia, a continuous decline in social skills, behavioral skills, and thinking. It is a debilitating condition that ultimately affects your ability to function independently.
Currently, over 5.8 million people in the USA are over the age of 65 and living with Alzheimer’s disease. Of the approximately 50 million people globally with dementia, 70% are estimated to be suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Early signs of Alzheimer’s disease include forgetting conversations and events. As the disease progresses, affected people will develop memory impairment and lose their ability to carry out even the simplest everyday tasks.
Currently, there is no treatment that will 100% cure Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, as the disease progresses, complications arising from loss of brain function, including infection, malnutrition, and dehydration, can result in death.
Progressive Neurological Conditions
Currently, over one billion people globally suffer from neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and motor neuron disease. These conditions are caused by a progressive loss of brain cells which are known as neurons.
Hopefully, the findings of this latest study will pave the way for all future research into neurological disorders, assisting with identifying these conditions earlier and eventually even a potential cure.
Together with the advances in medicine and science, and improvements in 3D printing technology, such as SPID 3D printing, it will help us to leap ahead with medical advances, bringing advancements to patients faster and providing an overall better level of care.
Laxxon Medical is dedicated to engineering patented 3D pharmaceutical solutions which optimize products and benefit patients. Our goal is to bring medical 3D printing to a whole new level and establish SPID®-Technology as a manufacturing process that has the individual and the pharmaceutical partner in mind.