Investigating the genetic link between neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease

Investigating the genetic link between neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, Dr Patrick Lewis describes how and why his Brain Research Trust funded research project is important.

“The main aim of this research is to investigate the degenerative process using neuronal cells nearly identical to those found in brains of people who die from dementia, something until more recently was not possible.

We have been able to take connective tissue cells from a number of patients with rare, inherited forms of dementia, and we studied these to uncover the changes that occur in cells that lead to disease. Using state of the art analysis, we can look at every single gene in these cells and look for genes which have changes in the dementia patients.

His project uncovered specific changes in a particular gene, potentially providing new drug treatments for patients.