LINGO Study Conclusion
A team of researchers led by Dr. Frédéric Calon from Université Laval and CHU de Québec were investigating two proteins—LINGO1 and LINGO2—which may be linked to essential tremor. Their analyses revealed a concentration of LINGO1 in the cerebellar cortex of people suffering from essential tremor twice that of healthy subjects. This overexpression was even more pronounced in people who had been living with the condition for over 20 years. These differences were not observed in the subjects with Parkinson’s.
In summary, higher LINGO1 protein levels were seen in people who have lived with ET for more than 20 years. High levels of LINGO1 suggest not only some kind of central nervous system injury or damage but also seems to inhibit the ability of neurons to repair themselves. This leads researchers to believe the changes seen may be due an error in the translation of genetic information. If researchers can learn how to reduce LINGO1, it could lead to a tailored treatment specifically for essential tremor.
“Other studies have shown that LINGO1 slows neuroregeneration following damage to the brain or spinal cord,” points out Calon, who is also affiliated with CHU de Québec Research Center. “So we believe that inhibiting this protein could be a promising treatment avenue to explore for essential tremor. The drugs currently prescribed to people suffering from this neurological condition were developed 30 years ago and their effectiveness is limited.”
In addition to Calon, the study’s coauthors are Charlotte Delay, Cyntia Tremblay, Élodie Brochu, Sarah Paris-Robidas, Vincent Émond et, Ali Rajput, and Alex Rajput.
Among the Top 10 Discoveries of 2012
Research made possible by an IETF grant has won acclaim from Québec Science magazine. Congratulations to Professor Frédéric Calon and his team at the CHUQ Research Center, Laval University, Québec, Canada, whose breakthrough research on essential tremor earned them a spot in the magazine’s list of top 10 discoveries for 2012.
Dr. Calon’s team appears on the prestigious list because of its success in locating the brain region involved in essential tremor.