LINGO Gene Study

This study by the Banner Sun Health Research Institute examines Neuropathological and Biochemical Substrates for Essential Tremor. Dr. Holly Shill, Director, Cleo Roberts Center for Clinical Research, Christopher Center for Parkinson Research, leads the study which is funded by the IETF.

The cause of essential tremor (ET) is unknown but recent findings have shown genetic links to the genes LINGO-1 and LINGO-2.  This project will deal with the next stage of these studies by confirming whether the proteins that these genes make are abnormal in ET affected brains.  This will be done by studying brain tissues taken from ET patients and comparing them to brain tissues from unaffected subjects using biochemical techniques.  The researchers hypothesize that abnormalities in the nervous tissue of the cerebellum, a region of the brain responsible for clinical manifestations of essential tremor (ET), are due to alterations in levels or distribution of LINGO-1 and/or LINGO-2 proteins.  This research project will be the first to investigate the detailed neuropathological and biochemical role for LINGO  in relation to ET.

This project will build on the hypothesis that ET is a degenerative disease where the cerebellum is the primary pathological site.  This project has access to one of the largest collections of ET brain tissues from subjects that were extensively studied both while living and after death.  By this approach, we will be able to identify which genes and proteins are abnormal in ET and therefore can start to plan ways to treat this disease in a focused manner.