Monday, March 27, 2017


Getting older is one of those things in life that everyone would like to avoid but unfortunately can’t. The development of neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s is one of those factors that an individually may acquire when reaching old age. A group of professors and researchers had observed a specific gene that if a mutation occurs can cause a dramatic age increase of the frontal cortex in individuals

Rhinn, an assistant professor and his fellow colleagues at Columbian University Medical Center discovered that the gene TMEM106B influences the aging of the frontal cortex which can lead to development of neurodegenerative diseases.

Rhinn and his colleagues had performed an autopsied on 1,904 individuals and came to the conclusion that individuals with two mutated variant copies of the TMEM106B gene had shown a dramatic age increase by 12 years of the frontal cortex  compared to individuals of the same age with two normal copies of the gene. The interesting factor about this gene is that it has no known effect on the brain until individuals reach the age of 65 which then triggers the variant copies of the gene to influence the aging of the frontal cortex.

Since the samples and examinations were taken from deceased people without neurodegenerative disease there is no conclusive link between this gene and neurodegenerative disease, however there is a link that shows the dramatic biological age increase of the brain which is known to cause neurodegenerative disease.

With continuous study of how certain genes are activated through human development this will lead to the discovery and introduction of new techniques to treat neurodegenerative disease, and perhaps scientist will be able to turn off the unknown trigger which causes this gene to express itself.

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