Scientists identify six new genetic risk factors involved in Parkinson's disease
Scientists have identified six new genetic risk factors involved in Parkinson's disease, including more than two dozen genetic risk factors that have already been reported.
The study by researchers from National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows power of combining big data analysis with cutting-edge genomic techniques and have identified potential genetic risk variants, which increase the chances that a person may develop Parkinson's disease.
The results suggested that the more variants a person has, the greater the risk, up to three times higher, for developing the disorder in some cases.
Andrew Singleton said that unraveling the genetic underpinnings of Parkinson's is vital to understanding the multiple mechanisms involved in this complex disease, and hopefully, may one day lead to effective therapies.
The study brought together a large international group of investigators from both public and private institutions who were interested in sharing data to accelerate the discovery of genetic risk factors for Parkinson's disease.
The researchers confirmed the results in another sample of subjects, including 5,353 patients and 5,551 controls. By comparing the genetic regions to sequences on a state-of-the-art gene chip called NeuroX, the researchers confirmed that 24 variants represent genetic risk factors for Parkinson's disease, including six variants that had not been previously identified.
The NeuroX gene chip contains the codes of approximately 24,000 common genetic variants thought to be associated with a broad spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders.
Some of the newly identified genetic risk factors are thought to be involved with Gaucher's disease, regulating inflammation and the nerve cell chemical messenger dopamine as well as alpha-synuclein, a protein that has been shown to accumulate in the brains of some cases of Parkinson's disease. Further research is needed to determine the roles of the variants identified in this study.
The study was published in Nature Genetics.
(Posted on 28-07-2014)