[Cite as http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/153895]
Prof Garth Nicholson
A/Pr Marina Kennerson
Brief description This project aims to identify the defective gene in a hereditary disease of peripheral nerve. The hereditary disorders of peripheral nerve form the commonest group of human genetic diseases, collectively called Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy. Although few hereditary nerve diseases are fatal most cause lifelong disability. All cause weakness of the lower legs and later weakness and wasting of the muscles of the arm and hand. Affected individuals have difficulty running, frequent falls with gradually increasing disability eventually requiring splints and other walking aids. We propose to use the newly developed resources of the human genome project to locate the defective gene. In previous studies we have used these methods to locate the defective genes of 2 other hereditary diseases of nerve. In this study we propose to investigate a newly recognised form of CMT called intermediate CMT. Intermediate CMT has characteristics intermediate between the better known forms of CMT affecting the nerve itself (the axon) or the nerve insulation (the surrounding myelin sheath). The disorder may therefore affect both components of nerve. The affected gene may mediate communication between the nerve and its sheath. This research should give valuable insight into the mechanisms responsible for the maintenance of normal nerve. Finding the gene may therefore have relevance to many other diseases of nerve. This research is a systematic search and should lead to the abnormal gene causing the disease. Once the gene involved is known then an effective test will be developed. When we can test for the disease, we probably will find that the disorder is much more common than previously recognised. Knowledge of the function of this gene will lead to an understanding of how the disease develops and will eventually lead to effective treatments.
Funding Amount $AUD 618,055.08
Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants
Standard Project Grant