Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Parkinson's treatment could change after genes study

Researchers looked at DNA from more than 100,000 people with and without Parkinson's for the study

The results of a worldwide study into Parkinson's could help revolutionise how the degenerative disease is treated, experts have said.

The major study, part-funded by Parkinson's UK, looked at which variations in genes increase the risk of people developing the incurable brain condition.

Researchers looked at DNA from more than 100,000 people with and without the condition for the study.

They identified a further six sections of DNA to the 22 already known to increase the chance of a person having Parkinson's.

The findings could help scientists to find new pathways involved in brain cell death and lead to new ways to prevent and treat the condition.

Researchers said the new sections of DNA could now be studied to find how they contribute to the development of the Parkinson's.

Claire Bale, research communications manager at Parkinson's UK, which helped to fund the study, said: "This study is an important step in our mission to stop Parkinson's in its tracks.

"We know people develop Parkinson's when nerve cells in their brain die. But we still don't have a complete picture of the genetic fingerprints that are putting people at higher risk of developing the condition.

"We're excited to see that this study has unearthed more genetic clues about who is at risk.

"The results could unearth completely new ways to tackle the condition, so we can stop the death of precious brain cells once and for all."

The findings have been published in Nature Genetics.

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