17 New Genes Linked to Parkinson’s Disease


A new study has discovered 17 novel genetic variants associated with Parkinson’s disease, several of which are considered targets for intervention. Published in Nature Genetics, the genome-wide association study represents a collaboration between Genentech and the personal genomics company 23andMe. Investigators compared 6,476 PD cases with 302,042 controls as well as a meta-analysis of over 13,000 PF cases, 95,000 controls and 9,830 overlapping variants. Using a neurocentric strategy to assign candidate risk genes in 35 loci, investigators identified 17 novel risk loci. Of note, a significant number of variants were related to lysosomal and autophagy pathways, which are important for clearing out protein aggregates and dysfunctional components of the cell. Other variants included genes related to mitochondria, neuronal survival, and immune cell function. Genentech and 23andMe plan to continue their collaboration to accelerate research in PD and translate genetic discoveries into prospective drug discovery targets.


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Launched in January 2002, Practical Neurology strives to enhance quality of care and improve the daily operation of neurology practices. Each month, our experts explain the real-world significance of recent advances in neurologic science and offer step-by-step advice on how to overcome the clinical and business challenges neurologists face. Our straightforward, how-to articles give neurologists tools they can put into practice right away.