Study: Brain diseases connected to protein defects

July 5, 2010 1:53:20 PM PDT
More than 135 brain diseases, including autism, scizophrenia, and dementia, have been linked to defects of proteins in the junctions of nerve cells.For the first time ever, doctors at Britain's Cambridge University were able to map the protein structure of human synapses or nerve cell connections in the brain.

They found 1,500 proteins in each synapse, each encoded with a gene.

Researchers were able to link defects in the proteins to specific diseases.

The findings are being presented Monday at the forum for European Neuroscience in Amsterdam.