Scientists have identified a gene that may be involved with the aging of neurons, which could one day lead to preventing diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
The new study, published in the Journal of Neuroscience, has found a gene that controls the normal and pathological aging of neurons in the central nervous system.
It is known as Bmi1.
Dr Gilbert Bernier led the study and discovered a mutation in mice that accelerated the aging process in the brain and eye. Through the team's research, it was determined the neurons on the retina and cerebral cortex were affected by the gene Bmi1 to age.
"Overall, we have now established that the Bmi1 gene is a direct regulator of cell aging in brain and retinal neurons of mammals through its action on the defense mechanisms against free radicals," Dr Bernier said.
This is the second genetic discovery concerning Alzheimer's disease in the past week.
Recently scientist found the gene dubbed DREAM (Downstream Regulatory Element Antagonistic Modulator), which had a known function as a "key regulator in the perception of pain," may also influence learning and memory.