Scientists from Quebec have unravelled a gene that causes a rare nerve disease, which was passed down from one or two pioneers who came to Canada hundreds of years ago, according to the journal Nature Genetics.
The disease, autosomal recessive spastic ataxia of Charlevoix-Saguenay, makes movements slow and jerky and worsens eyesight.
It is named after a region of Quebec where most of the population is descended from French pioneers who settled from 1608 to 1760.
The journal reports in its February edition on work by researchers led by Thomas Hudson of the Montreal General Hospital Research Institute.
Identification of the gene is a key first step toward devising a treatment to block the rogue proteins from developing. AFP