Granulins Genetic Mutations Cause Dementia, But How?

In Alzheimer's, Brain Disorders, Brain General Structure and Function, Brain Science, Dementia, Genetics by Brainy Days Ahead

Granulins intrigued Emory University School of Medicine researchers because mutations in thier genetic structure cause frontotemporal dementia (FTD). FTD is an incurable neurodegenerative disease that is the most common type of dementia in people younger than 60. In this new research, the neuroscientists developed tools that can actually see granulins inside cells within lysosomes, which are critical garbage disposal and recycling centers. Furthermore, they have important jobs in the lysosome that are necessary to maintain brain health, suppress neuroinflammation, and prevent neurodegeneration.  The study also may provide an explanation why decreased levels of granulins are linked to multiple neurodegenerative diseases. Genetic variants are also a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, suggesting that this discovery may have therapeutic potential for a broad spectrum of age-related neurodegenerative diseases.