Hope for brain disease offered by proteins

Hope for brain disease offered by proteinsSetting the centre stage for about 130 brain diseases, a large collection of nerve proteins has been identified.

Multifunctional drugs which can treat more than one condition can be the outcome of such a discovery that could lead to new treatments for disorders such as Alzheimer's and autism.

After investigating synapses, neural connection points, in patients undergoing brain surgery, an Anglo-American team of scientists isolated the proteins.

In human synapses, in total 1,461 proteins, each encoded by a different gene, were found to be active.

A molecular machine known as the postsynaptic density, or PSD, was formed by the proteins that worked together.

Professor Seth Grant, from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire said, "We found that over 130 brain diseases involve the PSD - far more than expected."

It was added that common debilitating diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders are included and also forms of autism and learning disability is also a part of the inclusion.

Findings have also shown that affecting several million people, the human PSD is at centre stage of a large range of human diseases.