This site is intended for healthcare professionals only
'Junk' DNA may provide new insight into neurological disorders
'Junk' DNA could unlock new treatments for neurological disorders as scientists discover its breaks and repairs affect our protection against neurological disease. The groundbreaking research from the University of Sheffield's Neuroscience Institute and Healthy Lifespan Institute gives important new insights into so-called junk DNA and how it impacts on neurological disorders such as Motor Neuron Disease (MND) and Alzheimer's.
The researchers also identified the pathway of how oxidative breaks are formed and repaired. Repairing these breaks in junk DNA is essential for producing proteins which protect us from disease.
Oxidative stress is an unavoidable consequence of cellular metabolism and can be influenced by factors such as diet, lifestyle and environment. In the long term, oxidative stress can cause damage to the body's cells, proteins and DNA, accelerating the ageing process and contributing to the development of neurological diseases such as dementia.
It is hoped this study could pave the way for further research which may potentially help speed up the detection of biomarkers of disease, and allow for earlier intervention to help prevent the onset or progression of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and MND in those who have the relevant gene.
Globally up to one billion people - nearly one in six of the world's population - have neurological disorders such as MND, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease.
Nature,DOI A mechanism for oxidative damage repair at gene regulatory elements,10.1038/s41586-022-
B.Sc Life Sciences, M.Sc Biotechnology, B.Ed
Isra Zaman is a Life Science graduate from Daulat Ram College, Delhi University, and a postgraduate in Biotechnology from Amity University. She has a flair for writing, and her roles at Medicaldialogues include that of a Sr. content writer and a medical correspondent. Her news pieces cover recent discoveries and updates from the health and medicine sector. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.