Researchers found a cause for severe epilepsy resulting in death in Parson Russell Terrier puppies at a few months of age. A change in the PITRM1 gene can lead to a dysfunction of mitochondria, the cellular energy pumps. Concurrently, amyloid-beta accumulation and widespread neurodegeneration associated with Alzheimer’s disease were identified in the puppies’ brains. Changes to the PITRM1 gene in humans also cause a severe but slowly progressing brain disease.
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