Researchers have identified the mutation that causes neurodegeneration. In a mouse study it was found that a mutation in a copy of U2 snRNA led to movement problems and early neuron death. The gene is involved in the process of protein-encoding RNAs, which cause neurological diseases. Professor Susan Ackerman, leader of the study, explained that the defect in the "splicing" of RNAs in neurons may contribute to neurological decline. "This opens up a whole new way of studying these RNAs," she said. "Including the types of disruptions in RNA processing that can lead to degeneration." A mutation in just one copy of the RNA disrupts the splicing process and causes neurological decline. The discovery could lead to potential targets for treating and preventing dementia. Previous studies have also suggested that neurological decline is the result of metabolic factors, such as blood sugar levels. This would suggest that age-related declines in peripheral nerve function may be the result of a combination of aging, gender, plus metabolic factors. Find out about dementia care and support services at Barchester care homes.