A research that could have large implications on health conditions like dementia and cognitive impairment, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital research team in collaboration with University of Louisville School of Medicine, USA, have established the role of a gene in decline of cognitive and hearing functions and that the removal of this gene would decrease Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) — a condition that is common in cognitive and hearing disabilities.
The research carried out on mice established the role of MMP-9 gene in decline of cognitive and hearing functions.
The findings would also have positive news for patients suffering from Alzheimer’s which is promoted by HHcy conditions.
“In our research, for the first time, MMP-9 has been correlated directly to functional deficits of brain and cochlea, and found to have a significant role. And now, it is important to identify individuals at risk for HHcy (like elderly population) and treat them to prevent the development of pathology,” Dr Seema Bhargava, lead author of the research and senior consultant at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital’s department of biochemistry said.
She added that the research has advocated the role of MMP-9 inhibitors by pharmaceutical companies as a ‘therapeutic option’.
Currently, 45 per cent of adults between 45-92 years of age suffer from hearing impairment. Deficiency of Vitamin B-12 and folate and high homocyteine levels have also been associated with impaired hearing in women. The research has been published in the May 2014 edition of Journal of Molecular Biology Reports.
MMP-9 gene is responsible for Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) and removal of the gene in mice decreased the condition.
Good News for those suffering from Alzheimer’s which is promoted by HHcy conditions.