Major cause of dementia revealed

Written by Francesca Lake

An international team of researchers has demonstrated that brain urea metabolism is a major cause of Huntington’s disease (HD). The discovery has major implications for dementia diagnosis and treatment. While it is known that a faulty gene is responsible for HD, the mechanisms resulting in brain damage have heretofore been unknown. Urea and ammonia are present in the brain as a product of protein metabolism. They came under the spotlight following the observation that urea transporters are significantly increased in an ovine HD model. Using transgenic HD sheep models of and post-mortem human HD brain tissue, the team used gas...

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