JAX, UMaine scientists lead discovery of new connection between Alzheimer’s dementia and existing gene

By studying the memory and brain tissue from a large group of genetically diverse mice, the team found that the expression of the gene Dlgap2 is associated with the degree of memory loss in mice and risk for Alzheimer’s dementia in humans. Further research will ascertain how the gene influences dementia and mental function.

Dlgap2, located in the synapses of neurons, serves to anchor critical receptors for signals between neurons required for learning and memory. When studying post-mortem human brain tissue, the team discovered low levels of Dlgap2 in people experiencing “poorer cognitive health” and “faster cognitive decline” prior to death, according to researchers.