Hypermethylation of C9orf72 May Help People Diagnosed with ALS and FTD

Institute on Aging pic
Institute on Aging
Image: ioaging.org

An innovator, Robert Kasirer possesses a strong interest in medical research. Robert Kasirer supports organizations, such as the Institute on Aging, that share the same passion.

Founded in 1979, the Institute on Aging is an extension of the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. The organization conducts research and hosts clinical trials that enhance the comprehension of aging and age-related diseases.

Among studies handled by the organization was one that may result in the creation of a new drug to combat the neurodegenerative diseases frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Medical researchers concluded that hypermethylation can inhibit progression and focused on studying the mutation of the gene C9orf72 in patients diagnosed with either disease. Healthy controls were included to compare findings.

Participants with hypermethylation of C9orf72 had reduced grey matter in regions that impact memory, emotion, muscle control, decision making, and speech. A positive discovery, the findings suggest that hypermethylation is neuroprotective and can be leveraged to develop new drugs and medical treatments that improve the lives of people diagnosed with ALS and FTD.

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