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Genetic Link to Parkinson’s

DNA modelA new study suggests people with a certain gene mutation are more likely to get Parkinson’s disease before the age of 50 compared to those without the gene abnormality

The finding comes after an analysis of 278 people with Parkinson’s disease and 179 people without the disease.

Investigator’s found 14 percent of the people with Parkinson’s disease carried mutations in the glucocerebrosidase (GBA) gene compared to only five percent of people without the disease.

The gene abnormality was found in 22 percent of people who were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease before age 50 compared to 10 percent of the people with disease onset after age 50.

Mutations in the GBA gene cause Gaucher’s disease, which is a rare disorder that prevents organs, such as the spleen and brain, from working properly due to the build-up of a fatty substance called glucocerebroside.

“Our results confirm that GBA mutations are risk factors for Parkinson’s disease and may lead to getting the disease at a younger age,” said study author Lorraine N. Clark, PhD, and coauthor Karen Marder, MD, MPH.

“We found those people with GBA mutations developed Parkinson’s disease nearly two years earlier than people without the gene abnormality.”

The study is published in the September 18, 2007, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The study also looked at how Jewish ancestry affected the likelihood of getting Parkinson’s disease at an earlier age since some studies have found people with Jewish ancestry are more likely to have GBA mutations.

Of those with Parkinson’s disease, researchers found the gene abnormality in 17 percent of the participants with Jewish ancestry compared to only eight percent of those without Jewish ancestry, suggesting that it may be an important risk factor in people with Jewish ancestry.

The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.

Source: American Academy of Neurology

Genetic Link to Parkinson’s

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Genetic Link to Parkinson’s. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 21, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2007/09/19/genetic-link-to-parkinsons/1302.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.