Genes Overseeing Tau Function Identified for the First Time

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A gene encoding a protein associated with tau production: TRIM11, has been found to inhibit progression while improving cognition and motor performance in small animal models of Alzheimer's disease (AD)-like neurodegenerative diseases, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Furthermore, TRIM11 was identified as playing a key role in the removal of protein tangles that lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as AD. The findings were published in the journal Science. Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia in older adults, a progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. Basic research at the Penn School of Medicine is led by Dr. Virginia M.Y. Lee (John H. Ware III Professor of Alzheimer's Disease Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Research) and the late John Q. Trojanowski, Ph.D. (Geriatrics and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Professor of Gerontology in the Laboratory of Medicine), revealed that one of the underlying causes of neurodegenerative disease is neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) of the tau protein, which cause neuronal death and trigger symptoms of ADHD, such as memory loss.

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