Scientists identify mutated protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease risk

Researchers identified a new gene from mitochondrial DNA that encodes for a “microprotein,” named SHMOOSE. They analyzed the default and mutated versions of this small protein and found that the mutated version is associated with increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, brain atrophy and changes in energy metabolism. ShMOOSE is important for energy signaling and metabolism in the central nervous system, researchers say. The discovery opens “exciting new directions for developing precision medicine-based therapies for Alzheimer’s,” says senior author of the study.

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