October 19, 2009

Michael J. Fox Foundation Announces Support for LRRK2 Cohort Studies in Ashkenazi Jews and North-African Arab-Berbers

By Beth Backus

SOA World Magazine
NEW YORK, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research today announced $5.2 million in support for two studies defining the clinical presentation of Parkinson's disease in two specific populations -- Ashkenazi Jews and North African Arab-Berbers -- in which mutations in the LRRK2 gene are associated with a significantly increased risk of Parkinson's disease. Mutations in the LRRK2 gene in these groups are linked to an estimated 13 to 40 percent of Parkinson's cases, compared with an estimated one to two percent in the general population. By studying these uniquely affected groups, researchers will be able to tie outward clinical features of the disease to underlying biological and genetic processes, providing critical clues about how best to clinically test future therapeutics targeting LRRK2.

Tags: Mayo Clinic Jacksonville

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