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New research 'a step closer to identifying the cause of MND'

New research 'a step closer to identifying the cause of MND'
7th April 2010

Scientists are a step closer to identifying the genetic causes of Motor Neurone disease (MND), according to the results of a new study.

Research partly-funded by the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) has located the specific genetic mutation responsible for a rare form of inherited MND, according to an article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

The mutation of the D-amino acid oxidase gene may only apply to a rare type of the disease, but this discovery is extremely important, allowing scientists to compare one type of MND with another, according to Dr Brian Dickie, director of research development at the MNDA.

"It serves as a springboard for much greater understanding of MND and it is through this understanding that effective treatments will be developed," he explained.

Scientists currently believe that as rare and common forms of MND are "clinically indistinguishable", the mechanisms that cause them may also be similar, Dr Dickie added.

MND is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that attacks motor neurones, causing loss of mobility and muscle wasting.

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