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31 August 2010

Dog gene linked to human brain disease

Scientists say a gene mutation that causes a fatal neurodegenerative disease in American Pit Bulls may also be linked to a similar, rare fatal brain disease in humans.

Scientists who discovered a gene mutation that causes a fatal neuro-degenerative disease in American Staffordshire (Pit Bull) terriers say the same gene may also be linked to a similar, rare fatal brain disease in humans.

"The disease became so prevalent because it was a recessive disease with late onset. Carriers of a single copy of the mutated gene never develop symptoms, and dogs with two copies of the gene might not show symptoms until five or six years of age, so the mutation was able to take hold in the breeding population," she explained. 

 
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