Next-generation DNA sequencing techniques have revealed a muscle stem cell mutation in progressive muscle disease.
Using the new approach, an international team of researchers discovered a defect in the MEGF10 gene.
The study's findings will allow for accurate genetic testing and diagnosis for progressive muscle disease, which was previously impossible.
Professor Markus Schuelke and Professor Colin A.Johnson, joint directors of the project, stated: "These methods enable us to sequence hundreds or even thousands of genes at the same time for an affordable price.
"This enables clinicians and researchers to discover novel genetic defects even in single patients."
Greater quantities of two enzymes involved in the production of the Alzheimer's protein brain plaque are found in the muscle cells of patients with the most common, progressive muscle disease in older adults, other research has shown.
The study could impact upon the development of treatments for inclusion-body myositis and for Alzheimer's disease.
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