Two pathways associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's have been found to be linked to rare childhood disease Lesch-Nyhan Disease (LND).
Those with LND experience compulsive behaviour and cognitive defects and the research, published in PloS ONE, could have implications for those with the condition and also those with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
"Defects similar or related to those that we've found are also seen in other neurodegenerative diseases - suggesting common mechanisms for some of the cognitive, behavioral and neurological defects in all these disorders," said lead researcher Theodore Friedmann at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.
This comes after researchers led by Margaret Pericak-Vance of the University of Miaminfound that carriers of the gene MTHFD1L found on chromosome six could have an increased chance of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease.
The study looked at gene variation in 2,269 people with late-onset Alzheimer's and found differences in the genetic sequence of those who had the condition and those who did not.