There are many proteins and pathways that play a role in the cascade of events that contribute to Parkinson's disease (PD). The development of new therapies and ultimately, a cure, for PD requires a greater understanding of these specific mechanisms and the genetic factors that can affect one's risk for developing the disease. Research into the biology of PD can also help us learn why and how things go wrong and provide new ways to measure and track disease onset and progression.
In our new podcast series called "Getting to a Cure: The Science behind the Search," we'll be taking a deeper dive into some of these topics through discussions with our Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) staff scientists and other Parkinson's researchers.
In our first episode, we spoke to Marco Baptista, PhD, director of research programs at The Foundation, who leads our portfolio on LRRK2, a promising target of research in the Parkinson's field.
Dave Iverson, MJFF contributing editor, led the discussion on the genetics and biology of LRRK2 and the role of The Foundation in advancing development of LRRK2 therapeutics for Parkinson's.
"I think we're in a very exciting time with LRRK2, because, in a similar way to the oncology field where you can stratify a population based on genetic mutations, we can also apply that model to this gene," said Dr. Baptista. "And, with LRRK2, you also have converging biology, which is showing that a therapeutic targeting LRRK2 might work even for all Parkinson's patients."
Learn more about how you can get involved in LRRK2 research and see if you are eligible for the MJFF-led landmark biomarkers Parkinson's Progressive Markers Initiative study.