Over recent years, researchers have been identifying genetic variations associated with an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s. Approximately 20% of people diagnosed have one or sometimes two of these genetic risk factors. Now, a recent study has shown that having the combination of two particular genetic risk factors for Parkinson’s has a surprising result.
DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) contains the genetic instructions for the development and function of living things. Our DNA is rather like a biological blueprint that contains all the information necessary to build and maintain our bodies; and it is carried in almost every cell. Tiny variations in our DNA are what in large part make each of us unique; but whilst some genetic variations bring positive benefits, some leave us vulnerable to disease.
A new study looking into genetic variations in people with Parkinson’s, provides evidence that having a combination of two particular genetic risk factors for Parkinson’s may not make that person’s Parkinson’s doubly worse, but rather have a very limited impact.
While the biological mechanism for this effect is still to be determined, the study’s findings could have important implications for clinical trials assessing new treatments. People with Parkinson’s who have these genetic variations will need to be identified and carefully balanced between study groups in order to avoid their genetics affecting the potential outcomes of the study.
Cure Parkinson’s is supporting the PD Frontline study in the UK, which is a DNA analysis investigation attempting to identify people with specific genetic variations.
By carefully identifying individuals with these genetic variations, we are hoping to have cohorts of predetermined people ready for certain trials to help speed up the clinical testing of drugs like ambroxol, which is being targeted towards the genetic GBA-associated Parkinson’s.
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